Rise in Electric Car Sales Could Lead to Widespread Power Cuts
The UK National Grid needs investment into its systems in order to future-proof the network ready for the rise of electric car sales, warns a government report.
Rise in Power Demand Could Lead to Power Cuts
The official report warns that the UK is unprepared for the rise in grid power demand that electric cars will bring, and that we could face widespread power cuts / blackouts if systems are not invested in and improved.
A “smart charging” solution has been urged by the Electric Vehicles Energy Task Force, who have suggested utilising times the network is under weak demand as well as an electricity network that has the ability to adapt to changes in power usage.
The report also states that there needs to be a larger emphasis placed on the storage of power that supports the grid, saying “the electricity produced by generators, or supplied from storage devices, must exactly balance the demand for electricity on a second-by-second basis.”
It also goes on to explain that the mass power cuts which affected around 1.1 million people back in August 2019 indicate the importance of focusing on power provision to continue to meet the challenges of the future.
The Impact of Electric Cars on National Grid Demand
Although hybrid and electric cars/vehicles only made up a fraction of the total UK vehicle sales in 2019 (229,000 compared to 1.5 million petrol cars), the pledge to phase out all diesel and petrol cars by the year 2040 means that their popularity is set to spike significantly in the months and years to come.
The inevitable increase in sales and popularity will lead to an ever-growing electricity demand as the number of public and domestic charging points grows. The report states that the increased demand must be managed properly by the industry otherwise the UK National Grid will simply be unable to cope. All it takes is a chargepoint operator to change the charging rates of electric vehicles too quickly, and the grid may not have the ability of the facilities to respond fast enough to the changes. In this case, consumer's electricity supplies could be lost in order to protect the status of the entire grid, as they were back in August 2019 when over 1 million people experienced power cuts.
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Blog published by ADE Power on January 17th, 2020