Senior stakeholders from the energy and automotive sectors, together with their customers, came together to discuss the preparations needed for the mass take-up of electric vehicles at an event which was held at the MINI Plant Oxford yesterday (17 May).
The event - Accelerate - featured four working parties who all particpated in roundtable discussions to discuss the key challenges and opportunities facing businesses in making the EV transition.
Hosted by Network and its sister brands Utility Week and edie, the event also provided participants with an opportunity to take their own electric vehicle test drive and tour of the plant.
The day started with a keynote address from Jonathan Murray, policy and operations director, Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership - before attendees heard from the event partners, namely:
Hannah Bishop, BMW i & iPerformance national corporate sales manager, BMW UK
Phil Hack, head of markets, UK Power Networks Services
Eric Brown, director of innovation, Energy Systems Catapult
Yunus Ozler, partner - energy, EY
The Energy Systems Catapult roundtable discussion, which was hosted by Network, centred around why a whole systems perspective is required if stakeholders are to respond most effectively to the challenges and opportunities that arise in the take-up of EVs.
During his presentation, Eric Brown (pictured) said: "EVs are a very important and active theme of our work. The stance we try to take on it is a whole systems perspective.
"It's about taking an objective that you're trying to achieve and looking across all the fields of interest."
Brown highlighted the importance of avoiding "silos" and added that the industry "must consider all the institutions, policies and practices that enable the development of services for consumers."
He continued: "It's not just about electricity. There's also gas, hydrogen and so on. There are a number of players that are emerging from other domains.
"We'd argue that in order to respond effectively to not only the challenges which we care about, but also the underlying stuff that's been created, we need to have a much more inclusive whole system way."
Look out for an in-depth review of the Energy Systems Catapult roundtable discussion in a future issue of Network.