The Green Alliance has warned that British energy networks are unprepared for a surge in electric cars and solar panels.
If action isn’t take by 2020, the Think Tank warn that clusters of battery-powered cars could result in up to a full 1% of the UK experiencing unplanned drops in voltage. This could seriously damage electric equipment plugged into mains networks during the disruption. By 2025, up to 700,000 electricity users could be affected.
Describing such drops as “brownouts”, the Alliance warn that as few as six electric vehicles located near one another could have such an impact. Charging one such vehicle currently uses as much electricity as the average home does in 3 days; so increased demand at a local level could damage networks, unless robust reinforcements are introduced.
This follows Transport Minister John Hayes’ call recently for owners of electric cars to charge them at non-peak times, to reduce demand on the networks.
Energy operators encourage the use of smart chargers, which defer when cars are topped up. However, the majority of the country’s existing 12,000+ charging points don’t have this facility.
“The government should say all chargers from now on must be smart. Once they’re in, it’s very expensive to retrofit them,” said Dustin Benton, the author of the report.
The Green Alliance noted that electric car sales were up 56% last year on 2015 figures, and said falling costs would encourage more consumers to buy them.
What do you think – and have you ever liftshared in an electric car? Let us know in the comments below!
Author Lex Barber