UK electricity networks under pressure as EV sales soar 716% in two years
There's a growing threat to the UK's electricity network as a result of electronic vehicles (EVs), according to a study by My Electric Avenue, a project funded by energy watchdog Ofgem to see how charging the vehicles will impact on the country's electricity supply.
The study shows that a third (32%) of local electricity networks, or 312,000 circuits in total, will struggle to cope when 40% - 70% of customers have EVs, based on 3.5 kW (16 amp) charging.
Plug-in car sales have soared over the past two years, increasing by a whopping 716% over the period, says My Electric Avenue.
As sales of plug-in cars continue to rise, and as EVs gain ever-larger battery capacities, the energy and automotive industries will need to take collaborative action to support the growing demand for EV charging in parts of the UK.
Smart solutions currently under development could help ease the situation, the organisation suggests.
The obvious solution would be to replace underground cables in the public highway, but an innovative piece of technology named Esprit could instead provide the answer. This would allow domestic EV charging to be controlled, preventing underground cables, overhead lines and substations from becoming overloaded.
The technology could save around £2.2 billion of reinforcement costs up to 2050.
EA Technology's Dave Roberts, My Electric Avenue project director, commented: "Historically there has not been much cross-sector communication between the automotive and energy industries.
"My Electric Avenue has brought these two sectors together and has started dialogue, and this needs to develop further as vehicle manufacturers announce plans for increasing numbers of higher performance plug-in vehicles."