Scheduling electric vehicle charging to minimise carbon emissions and wind curtailment

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This paper presents an investigation of the potential for coordinated charging of electric vehicles to i) reduce the CO2 emissions associated with their charging by selectively charging when grid carbon intensity (gCO2/kWh) is low and ii) absorb excess wind generation in times when it would otherwise be curtailed. A method of scheduling charge events that seeks the minimum carbon intensity of charging while respecting EV and network constraints is presented via a time-coupled linearised optimal power flow formulation, based on plugging-in periods derived from a large travel dataset. Schedules are derived using real half-hourly grid intensity data; if charging in a particular event can be done entirely through use of renewable energy that would otherwise have been curtailed, its carbon intensity is zero. It was found that if ‘dumb’ charged from the current UK mainland (GB) grid, average emissions related to electric vehicle (EV) charging are in the range 35-56 gCO2/km; this can be reduced to 28-40 gCO2/km by controlled charging – approximately 20-30% of the tailpipe emissions of an average new petrol or diesel car sold in Europe. There is potential for EVs to absorb excess wind generation; based on the modelled charging behaviour, 500,000 EVs (20% of Scotland’s current car fleet) could absorb around three quarters of curtailment at Scotland’s largest onshore wind farm.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRenewable Energy
Early online date4 Aug 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Aug 2020


  • electric vehicles
  • renewable energy
  • carbon intensity
  • optimisation
  • scheduling


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