Revolutionising energy storage

In 9 out of 10 scenarios for powering vehicles, electrification plays a crucial role, which means huge opportunities for new research today to address the technological challenges of the future. Storing energy in batteries will be one priority. Greg reflects on the past decade of scientific progress and explores the big ‘what if’: what if cheap and ubiquitous battery storage enables the ‘energy cloud’– and what implications could this hold for autonomous vehicles?



Dr Greg Offer looks at the fundamental electrochemistry of the engineering challenges involved in developing low carbon vehicles, and in particular hydrogen fuel cells, batteries, and hybrid and electric vehicles. Greg is an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellow based in the Department of Mechanical engineering. Greg was seconded to the Department of Energy and Climate Change as an energy advisor in 2009-10, and has previously worked for the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. 


Dr Greg Offer focuses on solving the problem of resource intensive transport and moving away from the combustion engine. His work focuses on the transition to electrical vehicles through developing hydrogen-powered fuel cells, lithium-ion batteries and super-capacitors. To transition towards hybrid and electric vehicles is more a question of when it will happen rather than whether it will happen.

Dr Greg Offer’s predictions from 2013 




Within 5 years:

Energy clouds appear in population dense regions, where owners of electric vehicles would participate in energy exchange to match peak demand.


Within 5 years

10GW Virtual Power Station becomes plugged into the grid, utilising electric vehicle batteries when idol and connected.

2014 The virtual power plant: why clean demand response, Utility Week

2014 Cheap batteries will revolutionise the renewable energy market, The Guardian

Within 10 years

Driverless cars


Within 10 years

Cost of Li-ion storage would fall dramatically, initially led by consumer electronics and automotive applications

2014 Electric cars to drive $26 billion demand for lithium-ion batteries, Ecomento

2014 New battery 'charges 20 times faster; gives electric cars a 300-mile range ', The Drum

Within 20 years

Inductive charging on motorways

2014 Driverless Cars For $10,000? This Startup Is Challenging Google With A Simple Sensor, Forbes

2014 Driverless cars are legal in California, so what comes next?, Tech Radar

Within 20 years

Hybrid vehicles will start to concede ground to plugin-hybrid, then Battery Electric Vehicles will hit the market. By 2040 Fuel Cell vehicles will be commonly available on roads


Foresight and futures work

2034: Tech Foresight
The future of sensing and data-driven technologies
2033: Tech Foresight
20 years

Profile Credits

Foresight Development: Alex Ayad, Richard Watson, Ali Salehi-Reyani, Smarties 

Video: Alex Ayad, Tom Walker, Consider Creative