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National Grid’s Thoughts on EVs

July 15, 2017

By Paul Homewood

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forecourt-thoughts-v10.pdf

 

 

The National Grid has recently published what it calls a Thought Piece about the impact of electric cars on the electricity system.

It is not a hard and fast plan, but rather a bit of blue sky thinking. But it is certainly worth reading, not least because it only runs to five pages!

It starts by laying out the background:

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So far, all pretty uncontroversial. It then goes on to look at some of the problems with home charging, which I have highlighted before.

 

 

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The problems of no access to off road parking are very real, with an estimate of 43% having no such access. Just imagine somebody on the pavement tripping over your cable in the middle of the night and suing you!

Many people, of course, can’t even park outside their house. Even my car has to be left on the drive, as I have far too many uses for the garage, as I suspect is the case with the majority of people. So I would still have to resort to the open window.

It is also an eye opener to learn that you would not be able to use other household appliances with anything but the slowest of chargers.

It is also becoming abundantly clear that if large numbers of households started charging cars from home, many local networks simply could not cope. This has been reported from other sources before, but coming from the National Grid gives such claims much more credibility.

 

 

2050 Scenarios.

The analysis fast forwards to 2050, when it is assumed most, if not all, cars will be pure electric.

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The report raises two very important considerations:

 

1) Charging times.

It talks about a 350 kW charger taking up to 12 minutes, but, as it admits, there is no battery at the moment which can support this. 12 minutes may not seem unreasonable, but just imagine when there are three other cars in front of you, and you have to wait half an hour.

In reality, with the sort of chargers currently practical, typically around 50 kW, charging times will be much, much longer.

(There is an interesting analysis by transportevolved,com, which finds that actual charging times are usually longer than the manufacturers state, dependent on things like the battery’s age and even the weather! The report is here.)

Let’s not be under any misapprehension here. We are not simply talking about inconvenience for car drivers. If cars are queuing up for half an hour or more, traffic jams will inevitably ensue. It is not difficult seeing the whole economy grinding to a halt.

Maybe 350 kW chargers will be compatible sooner or later, but again we come up against the chicken and egg problem. Nobody is likely to invest millions in installing these if there is little demand for them, so it could take years for them to make any significant difference. Meanwhile, drivers are unlikely to pay out more money for more powerful batteries, if there are no chargers available to take advantage of them.

And, of course, forecourts and service stations will already be full of the less powerful ones.

 

 

2) Chickens and eggs

Not only is this a problem for the 350 kW chargers. Much more significantly, as the report explains, drivers will be reluctant to buy EVs until there are enough charging stations, readily available right across the UK.

Meanwhile, there is little appetite to build them until there are enough cars on the roads to make them worth while.

The likely eventuality is that we see a continuation of the piecemeal approach, with small numbers of charging sites set up, probably limited to the busier locations, such as motorways and cities. Whilst this may be enough to satisfy the current handful of EV drivers, it is unlikely to reassure the rest.

 

 

Final Thoughts

The report concludes:

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It has long been widely assumed by the “experts” that most EV charging would take place at night, thus smoothing out demand each day, and reducing the need for peak capacity. It has also been planned that car batteries could act as storage for the grid, so that power could be taken away during times of shortage.

This National Grid analysis comes to rather different conclusions. It now seems that, far from smoothing out demand, EVs could exacerbate the problem.

Most drivers will take their cars for charging during the day, and probably most will do so on the way home from work. In other words, precisely the time when demand in winter is already at its peak.

We are launching ourselves towards arguably the most radical transformation of our energy system, and indeed economy, yet with little understanding of how we are going to get there, or an appreciation of the problems involved.

Instead we are going forward on a wing and a prayer, in the hope that something will eventually turn up.

Needless to say, this is the opposite of every successful technological advance made in the past. Just about every such move forward has come as a result of finding something that was something an improvement of the past, an evolutionary process.

Just think about the progression in computer technology for instance. Did governments announce that all manual records would be done away with, in the hope that something might replace them? Of course not.

IT companies like IBM came up with ideas and technologies that were better, then rolled them out and proved that they were both up to the job and much better solutions than those which already existed. And none of this happened by government mandate or subsidy.

One of these days, EVs might do the same. But until they do, we really should not be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

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46 Comments leave one →
  1. David permalink
    July 15, 2017 8:58 pm

    The article does not address the problem of connection and switches. Do they have any idea of the required robustness of a 350 KW connection?

    • Keitho permalink
      July 16, 2017 10:46 am

      That is a huge connection. There are a great many engineering difficulties with a connection of this size for use by private individuals. The useage will all bunch up in time and so a large number of connections will be needed leading me to visualize an enormous substation fed by very high capacity conductors from a large capacity power station fired by coal, gas or nukes.

      Pick an evening with no wind and no sun and the unicorns the jackasses dream of won’t be out prancing. Such a traffic jam.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      July 16, 2017 11:19 am

      “Do they have any idea of the required robustness of a 350 KW connection?”

      Clearly they do not. A quick calculation shows that even if a DC charger capable of working at 700 volts (I believe some battery packs work at this sort of voltage) was available, this STILL equates to 500 amps!!! I would love to see the plug, socket & lead they propose for that.

      As to the safety risk – just consider that a DIY arc welder will work quite happily on a 3 kW supply…

    • July 16, 2017 11:36 am

      Robustness in both capacity and reliability. You don’t need much resistance in such before things will get very hot very quickly.
      Safety too. The general public is not known for its mechanical sympathy!
      And the E & H fields are going to be pretty strong while that amount of power is being transferred.

      Might a wireless solution be better. But what efficiency might be expected?

    • July 17, 2017 9:33 am

      like hot ironing a cruise ship onto the grid whilst in port so that the ships generators can be shut down. It can be done but its not a ‘domestic’, ‘user friendly’ solution.

      • July 17, 2017 9:41 am

        beg your pardon, its called ‘cold ironing’ not hot 🙂

      • Dave Ward permalink
        July 17, 2017 10:22 am

        @ John – from what I’ve read of similar shore power links on private “super yachts”, those connections will be made at something like 6kv (or more) ~ 3 phase, which keeps things more manageable in terms of conductor size. But hardly what you want trailing across the path…

  2. July 15, 2017 9:11 pm

    It seems inconceivable that any elected government could allow a situation like the one described to happen. I will be very surprised to see the petrol engine car phased out by government order. Even if some manufacturers phase out manufacture of them, I expect others will continue. Most of the public will still continue to use them and the petrol stations will carry on. Long before then the truth will become clear – that CO2 emissions are not a serious threat to our climate. You can see that cigarettes are still being consumed in spite of the draconian rules about their use. How much harder will it be to prise the public out of their petrol engine cars?

  3. chrism56 permalink
    July 15, 2017 9:23 pm

    David
    I think they did know about the issues of a high current charger. They didn’t discuss it because the punters for whom the article is intended is engineering illiterate and details would bog it down. It is good enough in itself to show that there are really serious issues with any significant EV takeup.

  4. mikeo28 permalink
    July 15, 2017 9:44 pm

    I live in Australia and own a diesel car. A regular trip for me is to drive from home in Canberra to my brother-in-law’s house in Bendigo Victoria. An adjustment This is a trip of 630 km. My car in this sort of country driving has a range of 850 km. I have calculated what it would mean for me in practicalities if I was driving something like a Tesla S. I think the range given for this vehicle is not normal highway speeds. The speed for a fair part of this trip is 110 km an hour which I usually do using cruise control pushing it to 115 km an hour. I have seen a few Tesla cars on the trip. They are usually travelling far more slowly than myself and I think range is the reason. There are super charging stations on the highway that I travel. They are spaced 177 km apart. I usually stop at about 350 km for lunch. This would work since there is a Tesla charging station there and an hour charge is acceptable but it will limit my choice of lunch. Then on to Bendigo. My only choice then will be some home charging. Quite often I drive on the next day to another town 120 km away and return to Bendigo. Yes it seems I can do that.

    • Manfred permalink
      July 16, 2017 9:38 pm

      And when the weather turns real nasty and there’s a prolonged power outage, will we be running all the petrol driven generators to charge the emergency vehicles and the rest? Does the e-vehicle you pass on your journey run its air-con or heating? Can it do the journey at night with lights and heat? Your average Tesla lugs a full 30% of its mass as battery weight. A large battery adds a larger percentage of inefficient dead-weight. What a farce this policy driven “progress.”
      And when the tax imposition per km for an e-vehicle matches that of gasoline, which it must eventually, how enthralled will the underwhelmed public remain once they realise that “saving the planet” isn’t all free fun sunbeams and breezes.

  5. Graeme No. 3 permalink
    July 15, 2017 10:03 pm

    Yes, chrism56, someone is starting to think, something long overdue. There is no mention yet of trucks, vans etc. nor police cars and ambulances that you might think should be available rather than stuck in a queue at the charging station.
    And if someone’s car was used in the morning and left in a parking station on a slow recharge, what happens if demand rises? Will the charging continue? Will the car be used to boost supply with the result that the owner arrives back at peak hour to find a near flat battery and no supply until 10p.m.?
    And dare I ask where all this extra electricity will come from? And it will be required at about the amounts mentioned as advances in car design won’t change demand that much. And those super batteries coming in 30 years as discussed in technical magazines around 1987 seem to be slow in coming.

  6. July 15, 2017 10:03 pm

    And, naturally, where is all this electricity going to come from?

    Also, there is something that I can never get anyone to discuss. What happens when for any reason there is a system wide power failure in a large metropolis? Within a few hours every truck and car in use in the city will grind to a halt. That includes police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, trains. No fossil fuel back up generators maintaining basic services like elevators, operating rooms, alarms systems, emergency lighting.

    I know, I know…we will just maintain a back up fossil fuel distribution system for such situations. But how? At what expense? I don’t see anyone explaining how, once you eliminate a market for fossil fuels as planned, you will still have a distribution system lying around to be used as needed once or twice a year.

    And what happens when power is restored. Currently, when power is restored consumers don’t run around and turn on every light in the house, the stove top and the oven, the electric kettle, tea kettle and microwave oven, every screen, high demand audio system and whatever electric heating system they have, all at once and at full demand.

    But what they will do after a lengthy power failure is immediately flash up those wonderful powerful car chargers that are supposed to be coming our way. Everyone of them turned on full tilt all at once across the whole system. Some of them equivalent to the demand from a thousand conventional homes. Thousands of them, tens of thousands of them, maybe millions of them, all at once taking every erg that can possibly be mustered and then some.

    All that in a system that is driven by government to create the situation so as to hopefully develop methods of dealing with the problems, as they arise. I guess we will have to change our expectations. Currently, when a power failure cause is eliminated we expect power to restored system wide in a couple of hours. With all electric we can expect it to take a couple of weeks to get every load on the system restored. Maybe longer. Actually maybe a lot longer unless the entire electrical system and all its components are replaced and upgraded, including residential, commercial and public buildings.

    Lost in all this is how could this possibly more efficient and cheaper than the current multi mode system, each with its own cost factors and comparative advantages for the consumer?

    • July 16, 2017 10:23 pm

      Ron you have hit the bullseye, because power outages will be far more frequent under a renewable regime.

  7. Athelstan permalink
    July 15, 2017 10:35 pm

    The lights are on but there’s no one at home, and green blob solutions.

    A change to EV has not been properly thought through, do they ever?

    The whole shebang is a corporate/green delusionist dream but a real world nightmare.

    In Hong Kong they’ve already wised up to this. Tesla sales have plummeted to zero after the government removed the tax breaks.

    People only buy impractical, expensive, virtue-signalling cars when heavily bribed by the government to do so. Who would have thought, eh?

    Indeed but when you think who trousers the $billions and what a first class gimp he is , it is vomit inducing…….

    Surely EV has little to zero future!!

    Unless authoritarianism, oh yeah!

    In the Communist Soviet of Brussels, ‘they’ TPTB legislate and that’s they way it will go – and **** democratic method and consumer choice for that matter. It has been decided, in Volvo, BMW Merx et al, have ordained it and you see that’s how the EU works: by the politicians, phalanxes of lawyers making it happen for the corporate blob through – diktat.

  8. CheshireRed permalink
    July 15, 2017 10:57 pm

    So the same market failure that occurred with renewables could be about to repeat itself with EV’s, namely over-promotion by politicians. A cursory glance at the above report screams out in clear terms the fact neither EV tech’ or the UK’s national grid is ready for a nationwide roll-out.
    Given the global figures for imminent new coal power stations (1400-2400 depending on who you believe) there is clearly NO rush for the UK to commit to this tech’ yet.

  9. It doesn't add up... permalink
    July 15, 2017 10:58 pm

    It rather makes the EU’s attempts to limit the power consumption of hairdryers, kettles and coffee makers irrelevant.

    Elsewhere, I calculated that petrol stations deliver 50-500GWh per year in fuel energy content (small rural stations will be perhaps only 10-15GWh). In practice, most of that is provided in about 12 hours a day. A 50GWh four pump site would therefore need an average of about 12 MW, assuming continuous charging, to deliver the same energy. Of course, we can compare say 25% efficiency in an ICE with perhaps 75% in an EV, so the average to be delivered would be 4MW. The number of pumps is really set by a) the available forecourt space, and b) the size of the local market. A 4 pump petrol station might be replaced by an 10-15 station charging operation to serve the same market, and reduce waiting times. – but with 350kW chargers. A supermarket would need to have charging connections at say half its parking spaces, with recharge happening while you shop (say 1 hour) at a lower price than the really fast recharge spaces. Customers would need to remove their vehicles promptly from the fast charge spaces when charging was complete to ensure continued availability – or leave the car keys with a valet who would move the vehicle to a no charge space when charging was complete.

    Clearly, it would make sense to keep EVs topped up whenever possible – e.g. parked at work, where a slower regime is possible is an obvious choice. Fast charging will almost certainly incur longer term penalties in battery life and capacity.

    Perhaps more challenging will be catering to seasonal demand in holiday resorts. The infrastructure would have to be sized to meet peak summer demand, while being heavily underutilised for much of the year. It might make the seasonal gouging by Cornish petrol stations seem quite modest. Perhaps the idea would be to have a dedicated interconnector from France? Or perhaps not, if M Hulot is shutting all his power stations.

  10. July 15, 2017 11:37 pm

    Self driving cars & an Uber-type system may provide a solution long term: Most privately owned cars spend 97% of their time parked. In the future it may be more cost effective to order a self-driving uber car as and when needed rather than owning a car outright. That way much more efficient use could be made of the fleet – and recharging could be scheduled by computer – eliminating waiting times. Far fetched perhaps – but this is 2050 we’re talking about.

    • TinyCO2 permalink
      July 16, 2017 9:29 am

      The trouble with that theory is that the 3% is mostly at the same time – rush hours, lunch times and early evening. Will government have to dictate what hours you can work, sleep and play? It’s more likely that people would use public transport and work over the internet. Perhaps we’d go back to the times when businesses built properties for staff within walkng distance?

      If we had to we could cheange the entire way we operate society but at the moment we don’t want to.

    • Manfred permalink
      July 16, 2017 9:49 pm

      A Goracle Green Blob wet dream, the stated end of private car ownership and reliance upon government administered transport. Bureaucratic totalitarianism at its very best. Perhaps in a city running on UN Urban Development Agenda (Habitat III) diktat? It may take a few more generations of eco-Marxist grooming.

  11. stephen m lord permalink
    July 16, 2017 4:19 am

    The reality is that the 2050 target will not be met and that is all to the good. When implementing a plan requires things that are not feasible then it is not implemented. I remember all the synthetic oil and gas plants that were going to be built in the 1980 ‘s. They would have required massive capital investments and high numbers of chemical engineer s. Did not happen. Same with EV market penetration. It will be an eco-elite niche of around 5%.

    • July 16, 2017 7:33 am

      I agree but the problem will be that our politicians will (continue to) waste insane amounts of OUR money before the obvious limitations imposed by the market and physics bring this fantasy to a halt. I would suggest sharing this article with our local MPs but my experience to date with such initiatives has not been fruitful. I love this blog and am very grateful for Paul’s commitment. However, the downside is that I am too often reminded that we are ruled by morons and that’s a truly depressing feeling.

  12. July 16, 2017 6:25 am

    If the National Grid were totally honest, instead of cow-towing to the politicians by stating “there are a number of solutions to these challenges”, it would state “there are no feasible solutions to the challenges of an all EV 2050, so forget the idea”.

    • Athelstan permalink
      July 16, 2017 7:24 am

      You are thinking like an engineer Phil and MPs + the green blob don’t understand the words ‘common sense’ let alone “feasibility” and more importantly they won’t be around to see the consequences, when the proverbial hits the fan, and of course it ain’t their money!

      The green agenda, for the pols – it is about control, power and megalomania, it is literally and figuratively a poisonous cocktail, they make us all drink their grotty green Kool Aid and its back slapping and bonuses and gongs all round with some nice little earner as chairman of some multinational/quango/NGO/Charidee – thrown in.

  13. Ben Vorlich permalink
    July 16, 2017 7:18 am

    I read somewhere that one one the inducements in the Nissan/Toyota letter from the government was that there would be an investment in charging stations for Leafs and IQs.

    At least one part of the problem is being addressed, but it seems Matt Mac at the BBC has missed it.

  14. July 16, 2017 7:31 am

    What happens to the oil refiners? presumably petrol will become a waste product. Should it be burned? or exported elsewhere or buried under the NSea? Just what do you do with all that petrol?

    • July 16, 2017 7:38 am

      In a world run on electricity along the lines discussed here there would be s massive shortage of refined oil. The impact on the grid would require many more businesses and key service providers to invest in diesel generators for backup.

      • July 16, 2017 12:54 pm

        But there would be a tiny market for diesel. The intent of the government intervention is to destroy it. When things are working as designed there is no need for it, ever. No money interested in extraction, refining, building pipelines etc. Quite the opposite. A burning desire on the part of any authority system supporting the all electric plan to kill and remove every component of the supply side of fossil fuels as a means of driving out any residual consumer market.

        Every business and key service will want diesel backup as you describe but it will not be available for them, at least in practical terms.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      July 16, 2017 8:46 am

      Back in the early days of refining, the naphtha fraction that later got turned into gasoline by reforming and also used as chemical feedstock, used to be burned off in open pits. I guess the chemical uses would still remain. Cat crackers, that upgrade the distillation product from vacuum distillation of the heaviest fraction from crude distillation, can be tuned towards producing less gasoline and more fractions used in diesel (partly by cutting deeper in the vacuum distillation, or dispensing with it). Hydrocracking heavier fractions predominantly to kerosene (rather than gasoline components) probably would still have good value. There would likely remain export markets for gasoline anyway: would the whole world adopt collective madness in switching to expensive EVs? Would there even be enough lithium to allow them to do so?

    • Bloke down the pub permalink
      July 16, 2017 10:26 am

      The obvious solution is to have a gen set that you can plug in to your EV wherever it is parked over night, chucking out fumes and keeping the neighbours awake. As the fuel would not be specifically for road use, you can avoid the duty on it, saving enough money to pay for the gennie.
      I suspect that if people start to recharge at supermarkets, they are more likely to plug in at a car parking space charger, and top up while they’re in the shop getting their groceries. The supermarkets would probably encourage this by varying the cost of charging in order to screw more money out of the punters while they’re in the store.

      • manicbeancounter permalink
        July 16, 2017 10:08 pm

        Generally, if people en-masse switch to EVs then there will be a massive loss of revenue from Excise Duties. Also, if people recharge from home the will pay 5% VAT on electricity, whereas from a business they will pay 20% VAT, plus the profit margin. I suspect those who are able will do partial charging overnight from home.
        The gen set issue will be resolved by ones neighbours putting in a complaint. You will end up needing planning permission to use one of the things.

  15. Stonyground permalink
    July 16, 2017 7:40 am

    Two things jumped out at me.

    First the expectation that EV range would soon match the ICEV range of 400 miles. My car has a range of over 600 miles. If the designer of my car had been asked to make it with a 1,200 mile range instead, he could have done so easily and at almost no extra cost.

    Second, the part about charging speeds. Oh that’s no problem, new technology will have that sorted by then. Will it indeed? How convenient.

    On the subject of technological revolutions occurring due to cheaper and more efficient technologies replacing the old ones. Does anyone know of a single technological revolution that has been driven by political action instead?

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      July 16, 2017 8:51 am

      Lysekoism?

  16. Grimwig permalink
    July 16, 2017 8:59 am

    I suspect that a half-way-house solution will be the optimum answer – say 50 mile range on a rechargeable battery and, for longer journeys, the ICE takes over. As many/most journeys are short range, this would substantially reduce fossil fuel burn and the pressure on the grid.
    Additionally, why not have standard modular batteries that can be exchanged rapidly at refuelling stations.
    Finally, the underlying assumption that CO2 is a problem needs to be convincingly demonstrated and I for one am increasingly doubtful.

  17. Gerry, England permalink
    July 16, 2017 9:42 am

    What we need is a few years of brutally cold weather to burst the global warming bubble and end renewables for good.

  18. July 16, 2017 9:44 am

    Reblogged this on CraigM350 and commented:
    Let’s spend all our money and hope some magically appears from nowhere because otherwise we’re ******

  19. Dave Ward permalink
    July 16, 2017 11:40 am

    There appears to be a slightly different take to the National Grid story in the good ole’ Sun:

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/motors/4020007/ban-could-be-placed-on-charging-electric-cars-during-peak-times-as-energy-demand-is-set-to-triple-by-2050/

    Dustin Benton, at the Green Alliance, told the FT consumers may have to “accept some control over when and how they charge their cars”

    Isn’t that exactly the kind of “You do what we let you” economy we all fear? How long will it take before the sheeple remember that “THEY WORK for US”

  20. July 16, 2017 10:38 pm

    In my country (South Africa) a kilowatt hour of gasoline/petrol costs five times as much as a kWh of electricity, despite massive screwups by the monopoly state electricity provider. In the UK it’s about six times. To anyone living on a budget, EVs make sense in these two countries. Never mind the recharging problems. Businesses will find that if they want people to come work for them, they have to provide charging points. However, according to Gridwatch, in the UK the pattern of electricity demand has changed quite a lot over the last year. Previously daytime was pretty quiet, ramping up in the early evening. Now the chart hits the peak at about 10 a.m. I have great faith in the power of human ingenuity to solve problems, provided government is kept out of it.

  21. nabbiz permalink
    July 16, 2017 11:25 pm

    The 15 July edition of The Economist has on page 17 a block proclaiming that “By 2040, electric cars would make up 90% of the world’s 2 billion cars, saving 11 billion bbl of oil/yr and 4.7 billion tonnes of CO2.” My quick calc on the hp15C shows that the latter is equal to all of 0.13% of the atmosphere’s recent CO2 content (at 400 ppm, by volume, or 640 ppm by weight). Oh yes, the quoted savings “exclude emissions and oil used to make electric cars”.

  22. Coeur de Lion permalink
    July 17, 2017 7:43 am

    What is the cost of the electricity at a gas station where the client is more or less captive?

  23. Roger B permalink
    July 17, 2017 11:06 am

    I decided to look at the electricity required to replace the fossil fuels currently used for cars. These figures are for Germany but they will be similar for most European countries.

    First step how much petrol and diesel is currently used?

    From the IEA
    http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/GermanyOSS.pdf
    Germany petrol and diesel consumption 2010-2011.
    Petrol 450 000 barrels per day
    Diesel 1 050 000 barrels per day

    As a cross check on the total consumption:
    http://world.bymap.org/OilConsumption.html
    Total consumption petroleum consumption for Germany 2015
    2 372 000 barrels per day

    Next step what is the electrical energy equivalent of 1 barrel of Petrol/Diesel? From a couple of sources:
    http://peakoil.com/generalideas/how-much-energy-is-there-in-a-barrel-of-oil
    1 barrel (crude) is 1,700 kilowatt hours
    http://letthesunwork.com/energy/barrelofenergy.htm
    A barrel of oil contains about six gigajoules of energy. That’s six billion joules or 1667 kilowatt-hours.

    If we take 1.7 MWh per barrel for petrol annual automotive energy input is:
    Petrol 765 000 MWh per day= 765 GWh per day = 279 000 GWh = 279 TWh
    Assuming an efficiency of 20% for a petrol vehicle the energy required for petrol automotive use in Germany is 55.8 TWh per year.

    Taking an overall efficiency for an electric vehicle to be 80% (electricity transmission losses, battery charging efficiency) replacing the petrol vehicles with electric vehicles would require 70 TWh per year.

    What proportion of the diesel is for automotive use against road or rail transport is not obvious. Suggesting a total of 100TWh for the annual automotive consumption seems reasonable.

    If all the diesel consumers were replaced by electric vehicles the annual electricity consumption would increase by around 220 TWh per year

    Currently Germany produces around 600 TWh of electricity annually.
    https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/germanys-energy-consumption-and-power-mix-charts

    Increasing this to 700 TWH to allow for the charging of electric cars is not trivial, nor is the reinforcement of the distribution infrastructure. Increasing to 820 TWh to replace all fossil fuelled transport is probably impossible in the suggested time scales.

    Best regards

    Roger

  24. Peter Flint permalink
    July 17, 2017 12:44 pm

    And of course let’s not forget that by 2030 the government wants to end use of gas for domestic use which will put an even greater load onto the grid.

  25. July 17, 2017 1:48 pm

    I wonder if the government has given any thought as to how the are going to replace the lost revenue currently derived from fuel duty. An electricity “fuel duty ” is obviously a non starter.

    • July 18, 2017 3:23 pm

      Pay-per-mile is already technically possible, if there’s a tracking device in the vehicle.

      Presumably home-operated diesel generators will have to be banned or strictly limited if/when electric cars become compulsory 😉

      • July 18, 2017 6:52 pm

        Yes that true – but how many purchasers of EVs will have a clue about the need to recover tax revenue? At the moment the main driver for the purchase of EVs is the running cost savings

  26. July 18, 2017 9:26 pm

    If/when EV owners find themselves paying as much to recharge as they used to pay for fuel – and waiting a lot longer for it to happen – things may get interesting. It can already cost several pounds for a 45-minute (max.) recharge at UK motorway services.
    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-news/consumer-news/96286/electric-car-charging-fees-on-uk-motorways-to-change

    Meanwhile: National Grid report asserts more nuclear must be built
    http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2017/07/national-grid-report-asserts-more-nuclear-must-be-built.html

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