Assessing the status of electrification of the road transport passenger vehicles and potential future implications for the environment and European energy system

Specific Contract under Framework Contract EEA/ACC/13/003 - LOT-1 - Final Report: Task 2

Electric vehicles charged with low-emission electricity are one of the key options to reduce emissions in passenger road transport. However, the introduction of electric vehicles will inevitably lead to greater interaction between the mobility and the electricity sector. When electric car penetration reaches higher levels, the electricity demand from electric cars will become a relevant factor within the energy system and impacts the operation of power plants and grid infrastructure.

The analysis of the impact of increasing electric vehicle car fleets in Europe therefore forms the core of the study. A literature review summarizes the general impact of electric vehicles on the power system and provides an overview of different smart charging strategies for electric vehicle integration. Two electric car scenarios of medium (50% electric car fleet in 2050) and high (80% electric car fleet in 2050) electric vehicle penetration are used to show the impact of electric vehicles on CO2 and air pollutant emissions for the EU-28. These scenarios are compared to the EU Reference Scenario from 2013 (8% fleet penetration of electric cars by 2050) in order to provide an overview of how much electric vehicles influence the power production and how much they can contribute to emission reduction. Other sectors and their impact on future emission reduction are not part of the study as the focus is on electric vehicle integration into the power system only. Therefore, the basis for the development of other sectors is the Reference Scenario of 2013.