Skip to content

EVs Will Need Ten Hinkley Points

October 1, 2020

By Paul Homewood


 A woman, circa 1912, hand-cranks the charger for her electric Columbia Mark 68 Victoria.


With suggestions that sales of conventional cars will be banned by 2030, attention is increasingly turning to how the electricity grid will be able to handle the increased demand from electric cars.

Sounding ever more desperate, the National Grid keeps trying to assure us that there will be no problem. But the facts suggest otherwise.


Last year as part of the Net Zero report, the Committee on Climate Change informed us that EVs and other surface transport would consume 76 TWh a year by 2050, in addition to current supply. Moreover, peak demand for EVs would be approximately 40 GW:



Evenly spread, 76 TWh would equate to an average load of 9 GW, but of course cars will not be charged so conveniently.

It is not unreasonable to assume that most will be on charge during the early evening, say 6pm to 10pm. I suspect most drivers will plug in as soon as they get home every night , regardless of power prices. That would imply peak load of 54 GW, so the CCC’s projection is a reasonable starting point.

Note as well that the CCC assume a reduction of 10% in car mileage, which I suspect is extremely optimistic.

Even if car charging could be shuffled to periods of low demand, this would only offset about 10 GW by utilising surplus capacity. Consequently during winter months, when demand is highest, EVs would necessitate an extra 30 GW of capacity, equivalent to ten Hinkley Points, or half of current UK capacity.


Add in extra demand for heating etc, and peak demand will rise from its current level of 50 GW to 150 GW:



The CCC’s solution to this extra demand is to build more wind and solar farms!


So it looks like you can forget about driving your car or heating your home when the wind stops blowing!

Then, of course, there is the issue of how the distribution can cope with the extra supply. Trebling of capacity would require significant, costly and disruptive network upgrades, as the CCC admit:


As much of the cost is “digging trenches”, as opposed to the “cost of cabling”, it obviously makes sense to oversize the networks now, rather than do piecemeal. But that also means that  taxpayers will have to foot the whole bill over the next few years, rather than spreading it out over thirty years.

Furthermore, if petrol and diesels are banned from 2030, most of the upgrade will need to be carried out well before then.

Regardless of the cost, I would have thought the biggest obstacle is the sheer amount of work and disruption involved. Is it even feasible that such work can be done in such a short time scale?  



For too long, decarbonisation targets have been presented as being sometime in the distant future, something that we the public don’t have to worry our little heads about. And also something that politicians don’t have to worry about, since it will be their successors in a generation’s time will have to deal with.

All of a sudden, that distant future is just around the corner!

  1. October 1, 2020 2:14 pm

    Once we got the populus into those smart meters you can fill your car up when we say so.

  2. October 1, 2020 2:14 pm

    Based on the assumption and not the evidence that fossil fuel emissions change atmospheric composition.

  3. Phillip Bratby permalink
    October 1, 2020 2:16 pm

    Why can’t the powers that be see the madness of all this? (rhetorical question)

    • John Moore permalink
      October 1, 2020 4:29 pm

      Because the powers that be don’t know the difference between a Watt and a Volt.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        October 1, 2020 8:47 pm

        ‘cos they don’t work in Current Times…..?

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      October 1, 2020 8:45 pm

      Phillip, working on the principle that TPTB are, on the whole, intelligent people (‘though not incorruptible) one has to assume that they are intelligent enough to rationalise an argument which, logically, says they are talking shite. To any electrical engineer it has to be obvious that the UK lacks the ability to provide sufficient power to support the dream of EVs – but they are not consulted.

      When will there come a time for this to become apparent? I’m sure it will happen. There will come a time when the likes of Deben – and his acolytes (aka shareholders) – will be stripped of their ill-gotten gains and consigned to obscurity so that the country can return to realism, led by engineers and not tricked up greenies with their modelled ‘science’. A time when ‘models’ will be consigned to the catwalk – and not to governance (we’d do better to have the likes of Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss rule us: they have as much – cough) intelligence).

    • sarastro92 permalink
      October 2, 2020 3:04 pm

      Why can’t you see that the TPTB are monsters who want to vastly reduce the human population?

  4. Douglas Brodie permalink
    October 1, 2020 2:21 pm

    The CCC estimate that “EVs and other surface transport would consume 76 TWh a year by 2050” is patent nonsense. Dukes 2019 gives UK fuel data which indirectly show that total diesel and petrol energy road transport consumption was about 460 TWh in 2018. An EV fleet would be more efficient than ICE but not by a factor of six.

    By my (back of envelope) calculation it would need 9 Hinkley Points before allowing for losses in electricity generation and distribution, losses in EV battery charging (especially if rapid) and discharging, battery degradation with age and an uplift in electricity generation capacity to cater for charging peaks, e.g. during evenings and overnight.

    • Sobaken permalink
      October 1, 2020 2:41 pm

      With an average daily distance driven per vehicle being around 40 Km and average energy usage being 20 KWh per 100 Km, each vehicle will consume 2.92 MWh each year. Then 46 million vehicles should consume a total of 134 TWh per year.
      But considering that you will only be able to charge them when the wind is blowing, and that they are pretty much useless for long distance travel so you probably would have to use rail for that, maybe 76 TWh is the correct number after all.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      October 2, 2020 7:28 am

      I assume that higher figure includes all road transport not just cars?

  5. JimW permalink
    October 1, 2020 2:32 pm

    No need to worry, we will just have a ‘climate lockdown’, forever?

    • October 1, 2020 2:41 pm

      But no evidence that the lockdown will moderate the rate of rise in atmos CO2.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      October 1, 2020 2:42 pm

      Apparently, if you give this any credence.

    • mwhite permalink
      October 2, 2020 9:55 am

      For no good reason

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        October 2, 2020 11:43 am

        Yesterday Imperial was claiming there were signs that the new restrictions over the last few days/weeks were working, yet it was obvious that the diagnosed cases had already peaked/plateaued in most areas beforehand.
        The rise in Liverpool seems to be flattening already. One day they will wake up and realise that they are just impeding/deferring – not stopping – the inevitable. All they have to do is hold their nerve and do nothing more. Ignore the crazy modelers.

      • mwhite permalink
        October 2, 2020 1:55 pm

        A page from The Transmission of Epidemic Influenza by R. E. Hope-Simpson

        Upper respiratory infections have a pattern. Seems covid 19 is no different from the rest.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        October 2, 2020 2:53 pm

        It’s well known they are self limiting. None of us would be here it they weren’t. Take a look at the 1951 Liverpool flu outbreak curve. Astonishingly rapid spread and acceleration of deaths, then ended. Strangely, like with covid, infants seemed immune, for the elderly it was called the death hastener.

        What’s particularly stupid is the unsaid policy shift from preventing the NHS being overwhelmed to total suppression – impossible now the virus is well seeded in the population.

  6. MrGrimNasty permalink
    October 1, 2020 2:39 pm

    I think we’ve guessed by now, the future plan doesn’t actually include allowing plebs unfettered mobility, let alone personal transport. So the problem won’t arise!

    • Pancho Plail permalink
      October 1, 2020 7:51 pm

      So that’s what the lockdowns are for, softening us up for permanent travel restrictions and home working.

      • M E permalink
        October 3, 2020 11:55 pm

        On the subject of Covid 19. It is a NEW virus and previous viruses are not of any use for comparative studies. So the ways it is spread and if it has new variations in genetic make up are not yet known. See the second outbreak in Auckland New Zealand which differed genetically and was spread only within a family and a church gathering…. See also MedCram on YouTube for lectures on viruses and this virus based on peer reviews literature and keep off the comment sections which are given over to TROLLS.

  7. annbanisher permalink
    October 1, 2020 2:45 pm

    Don’t tell me what academics or politicians say, tell me what the engineers say.
    Example, we were designing a 220 unit apartment in San Diego and when the topic of battery chargers came up (we were providing 4), the owner says that EVs are the future so let’s put chargers at every parking spot. The engineer then tell him that each EV requires a dedicated 50 A circuit x 250 spaces = 12,500 A. Which would more than triple the meter and Transformer sizes and require the utility to upgrade the service down the line. It was over $1M extra. The owner’s response? yeah, 4 is fine.
    That was one building, now multiply that by all new buildings.
    I hate it when people who never build things make all these rules that sound noble but don’t work.

  8. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    October 1, 2020 2:52 pm

    Don’t you just love the phrasing:

    A: ” to take place at scale ”
    B: ” very low regrets option ”

    “A” means “like an elephant in a tiny shop”

    “B” means “you will be much much poorer for 20 years, but 40 years from now you will have forgotten about it”
    “Many of you will be dead in 40 years and your grandchildren won’t know what happened “

    • Goose permalink
      October 1, 2020 6:01 pm

      Love the ‘low regrets’ too. Also:

      “A relatively large expansion in capacity is likely to have low regrets, ‘future-proofing’ the
      network to enable greater electrification if necessary and/or enabling demand to
      respond more readily to variations in low-carbon electricity supply.”

      I love how they acknowledge that demand must be forced to come into line with supply

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        October 2, 2020 7:31 am

        Such an extraordinarily dangerous phrase. Used by people who cannot imagine that the world might change in ways they haven’t anticipated.

  9. TomO permalink
    October 1, 2020 2:53 pm

    A seeming 203GWh / day required for passenger cars looks to rise by at least another 50GWh if one includes “commercial” but I haven’t had the time to verify the categories and reconcile the quantities

    The Petrol retailers association seems to have overall IC fuel figures HERE

    UK Gasoline and Diesel Sales 2019

    Total road fuels – 46.5bn litres

    Broken down into:

    Petrol – 16.2bn litres (Retail)
    Diesel – 20.8bn litres (Retail)
    Diesel – 9.5bn litres (Commercial)
    Source – HMRC Receipts

    At the end of 2018 there were:

    A total of 39.3 million licensed vehicles in the UK

    32.5m Cars
    4.1m LGV’s
    0.5m HGV’s
    1.3m Motorcycles
    1.0m other vehicle types
    Source – Department of Transport

    EU LGV / HGV vehicles are very common on trunk roads

    • TomO permalink
      October 1, 2020 3:23 pm

      Some back of fag packet sums

      Number of cars in the UK 30000000 (DVLA)
      Average Annual Mileage 7200 (RAC)
      Daily miles average car 19.73
      Tesla kWh/mile 0.34
      Daily kWh required per car 6.78

      Daily GWh required for passenger cars alone 203

      as in 19GW per hour over the 10pm – 8:30am low demand period

      Vans/LCVs do 12,800 miles a year, trucks significantly more than that …. and there’s 4.5 million of those and more will be required as payload is hammered by having to cart batteries about.

    • TomO permalink
      October 1, 2020 3:25 pm

      I watched a podcast featuring the National Grid “EV guy” – and he didn’t know or seemingly care if a domestic electricity supply was 80 Amps(19.2kW) or 80kW(333Amps) – not very confidence inspiring stuff… (he’s from the wind industry)

      • In the Real World permalink
        October 1, 2020 4:40 pm

        Some more back of a fag packet calcs .
        If all of the UK cars / light vans plugged in together , it would need well over 250 GWh generation capacity .
        At the present capacity , only about 5% could charge up per day in the Winter , and possibly 10% per day in Summer .
        Ten extra Hinckley Cs would only add an extra 10% to 15% per day at any time .

        But that is without the electric home heating . Which was found to be not possible in 2016.

        So the whole idea is totally insane

  10. Mack permalink
    October 1, 2020 2:57 pm

    Indeed, I believe that the that head of the EPA in the US has recently informed California’s governor that his plans to ban ICE vehicles and replace them with EVs by 2035 may not only be illegal but also wholly impractical in a state bedevilled, as it is, by rolling blackouts already. Despite having the highest electricity prices in the country, with current renewable energy policies, there’s not a chance of converting the state vehicle fleet to EVs never mind the citizenry being able to afford to drive them.

  11. Robert Christopher permalink
    October 1, 2020 3:03 pm

    Remember that, without Electricity, there will be no Internet at home, nor business to business transactions and virtual meetings. Banks will need to have emergency power on hand, as will supermarkets for stock control and itemised billing, as well as fridges and freezers. Industry, from food processing to delivery of goods and waste disposal will need to be ‘converted’ – and has anyone thought about that? And who will fund this?

    In every case, every stage between the beginning and end will need power as well where, in many cases, a pause between stages will damage the product. Passengers will be stuck between stations and surgical procedures will need battery backup, especially those that need assisted breathing!

    And, I wouldn’t be surprised if many niche companies decide to call it a day, and disrupt a long and profitable supply chain that is vital to keeping other industries going.

    What a complete and utter mess, especially when there is no Climate Emergency, only Climate Alarmism!

    It’s what happens when the ignorant extend their influence beyond their authority, and competence, and shout down those who just want to participate in discussions, using ridicule, untruths and aggressive defiance, and Power! That is ironic, indeed.

  12. Coeur de Lion permalink
    October 1, 2020 3:05 pm

    As I write, Uk wind is at 4.8% of rather low demand. Utter madness. Retribution will be brutal.

  13. Steve permalink
    October 1, 2020 3:24 pm

    Don’t forget that the CCC think that EV owners will be loaning their car batteries to keep the rest of the system going when the wind fails. During a mud winter lull for two weeks over Western Europe, that should keep us going for half a day.
    MacKay reckoned about 34 HP size nukes would suffice, with all the other renewables helping out. The CCC only wants 2 and seems to be happy that the proposed couple to replace aging nukes in ten years are not going ahead. So it’s wind wind and wind with hydrogen at three times the price of gas and enough carbon dioxide shoved under the North Sea to fill every empty oilfield for how long? What could possibly go wrong?

  14. Geoff B permalink
    October 1, 2020 4:42 pm

    There is a pipe coming into my house, it is about 3/4 of an inch diameter (20mm ish), it is for natural gas (methane) From that I can run a 32KW boiler that heats my house (4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 studies, dining room, lounge) and provides me with hot water, it is 92% efficient according to the guy who services it every year. (it costs me £220 a year for a service contract, its a lot, but peace of mind). I also have a gas hob, 4 rings equivalent to 4+3+2+1=10 kW, so that is 42kW of appliances with unknown spare capacity, it costs me 2.2 pence per kWh, the standing charge is 16 pence a day.
    I have a cable running into my house, 240 volt single phase with 100 Amp fuse, theoretically 24KW supply, but we need to derate the fuse by at least 20 % so 19kW, it costs me 12.2 pence a kWh, standing charge 16 pence a day.
    What madness is going to remove an established, plentiful supply of low cost energy, natural gas replacing it with high cost electricity, needing a complete rewiring of our total electrical infrastructure and building billions of pounds worth of inefficient, intermittent, wind farms and solar panels.
    To compound all this stupidity, lets at the same time ban petrol and Diesel vehicles and change to electric vehicles, relying on charging at home.
    All this because some false stories about carbon dioxide being a pollutant and causing global warming, which is going to melt the polar regions, raising sea levels,
    Carbon dioxide is the elixir of life for Earth, producing all our food by photosynthesis in plants.

    • TomO permalink
      October 1, 2020 7:12 pm

      So…. what you’re saying is get a natural gas powered IC engine and use the water jacket and exhaust t o recover heat and sell the surplus electric back to the struggling grid at wind and solar rates?


  15. Mad Mike permalink
    October 1, 2020 5:15 pm

    So let me get this EV thing right. My EV is fully charged and I go to work and I might get it charged there or wait until I get home. Either way I charge it every day but only drive for a small part of the day, leaving it plugged in to add to the Country’s energy storage capacity.

    That makes me feel good because I’m fighting CC and doing my bit. But quite often the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine so the Grid takes the charge I thought I had in my car and I haven’t got enough charge to go to work or get home maybe. Its no good asking my neighbour or work colleague for a lift as their cars are depleted as well. Suddenly I don’t feel so virtuous and the family is complaining bitterly about me not running them to school etc. In fact I feel rather stupid as well as impotent. Is that the deal I’m being offered?

    • October 1, 2020 8:21 pm


    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      October 2, 2020 11:36 am

      There will have to be some sort of voluntary element and incentive to your car being part of such a system.

      What that actually means is more electricity will be required to be generated overall to cover the efficiency losses, and electricity prices will go up to pay the participants.

      It’s just a(nother) crazy level of complexity to add to the grid infrastructure/management.

      Obviously there is no way to stop people unplugging their cars once they are sufficiently charged for their needs, or installing a device that stops supply back to the grid. Which is probably what most people would do, so the idea is a non-starter in reality.

  16. Up2snuff permalink
    October 1, 2020 5:55 pm

    It’s not just electric cars that the National Grid will need to support transport-wise. There will be trains, ‘planes AND automobiles. And electric bicycles, motorbikes, buses and vans. Most important of all will be the electric truck bringing food and drink to a supermarket near consumers that include Snuffy and all who ever post on here or read these Threads.

    ‘They’ really haven’t thought this through, have they?

    ‘They’ being Green campaigners, environmentalists, XR and Governments. Soon the long grass will be long no more, it will be full of the balls that have been kicked into it by ‘them’.

    • Mad Mike permalink
      October 1, 2020 6:53 pm

      Greens, environmentalists and certainly XR don’t care. They have a pure agenda that they never cost and are only concerned with virtue signalling with the backing of every lifestyle changing policy they can think of. Meanwhile the rest of us, who don’t have the luxury of living outside the real world and have to negotiate all the hurdles the Government puts in our way that are supposed to achieve net zero, are left to make this present society work.

      Although the Greens etc. won’t thank us, they are quite happy to benefit from the security and ease afforded them in this society.

      • Mack permalink
        October 1, 2020 10:31 pm

        Mad Mike, the last sentence of your post is the most prescient. It’s the ultimate irony. The Greens are happy to moan and wail about industrialisation/capitalism causing all of modern society’s ills in the West. However, without all of the benefits and freedoms of industrialisation/capitalism they couldn’t possibly be in a position to moan about it. If they were so confident of their position then they would be embarking on the 21st Century equivalent of the ‘Children’s Crusade’ on a march to China to air their disgust at the biggest national Co2 emitter on the planet (albeit China’s emissions are probably dwarfed by the humble collected farting of oceanic phytoplankton, but that’s another story!) And, as any student of history knows, the original Children’s Crusade didn’t end well. Anyway, the fact that Greta and her pals in the globalist green bandwagon aren’t calling out China for their carbon sins tells you all you need to know about what the climate change narrative is all about. And, it’s got bugger all to do with climate.

  17. October 1, 2020 6:31 pm

    The CCC’s solution to this extra demand is to build more wind and solar farms!

    Bzzt! Solar panels still won’t work after dark. Somebody tell the demented dunces at CCC.

  18. StephenP permalink
    October 1, 2020 7:08 pm

    Don’t forget that the head of the National Gris said in an interview on BBC a few years ago that in the future we would have electricity when it was available.
    That from the horse’s mouth.
    Looking at wind generation on gridwatch, it has being going up and down like a yo-yo for the past six months. Currently it is producing under 3% of demand.

    • Mack permalink
      October 1, 2020 11:03 pm

      I think in old, non PC terms, wind power generation goes up and down as quickly as ‘a whore’s drawers’. Alas, the poor taxpayer seems to be funding an awful lot of speculative whores. Without the associated benefits it seems!

  19. October 1, 2020 7:28 pm

    This is quite an amusing little site It agrees with the 3% but I’m not sure how re-assured we should be by what is powered.
    What we really don’t need up here is more windfarms, not that there’s much space left. They’re already stealing each other’s wind.

  20. Pancho Plail permalink
    October 1, 2020 7:57 pm

    Whilst Britain is doing this what do you imagine China, India and most of Africa will be doing?Certainly won’t be bankrupting themselves to upgrade their infrastructure for an all-electric future.

  21. CheshireRed permalink
    October 1, 2020 8:01 pm

    Given we have rank idiots in Office across the parliamentary board, logic and reason aren’t wanted in this debate. Only hysterical ‘climate change’ emotions will do, thank you very much.

    O/T, Tony Heller has been suspended by YT for 1 week, for his latest Covid video. Strike one of three. They can’t wait to get rid of him.

  22. MikeHig permalink
    October 2, 2020 12:04 am

    We seem to be paraphrasing the cries of alarm from those who forecast that London would be buried under metres of horseshit.
    Is it reasonable to take all of today’s parameters and simply multiply them up by the projected number of EVs thirty years hence?
    It is virtually certain that those parameters will change for many reasons, including:
    > The technology will improve, possibly by a significant margin, as it has already done.
    > Recent experiences under lockdown show that a switch to much more working from home is highly likely with commensurate reductions in commuting and business mileage.
    > The concept of universal car ownership will come under pressure as autonomous vehicles become viable – that seems controversial now but over the next 30 years it appears inevitable.
    Reading EV forums, it is obvious that virtually all EV users charge their cars overnight when – for now – there is ample power as the off-peak demand is typically 10 – 20 GW below daytime levels. As high daily mileages are uncommon, most charging is just “topping up”.
    Further, modern chargers are “smart” (by law) and allow a lot of flexibility. Together with the car’s own controls, charging can be set to certain hours; it can be managed to limit the power draw; it can be set to run when tariffs are favourable. That last point is what dictates most charging – getting the cheapest “refill”.
    There is a very long way to go before the overall power demand for EVs becomes a real problem as off-peak production will be sufficient for many years. Imho the issue will get swamped by the looming shortfall in dispatchable power during peak hours and the drive to electrify everything which definitely will drive up peak demand.
    In the short term the most likely EV-related problems will be things like over-loading domestic incomers and, beyond them, the local distribution network.

    • Mack permalink
      October 2, 2020 12:33 am

      Just to add to your last sentence Mike, may I add, ‘charging facilities, initial cost plus maintenance, range, battery life / longevity and winter’. Apart from those little canaries in the gold mine, sexy little EVs, over their current designed lifespan, also have a carbon footprint larger then the vehicles that they are intended to replace. As of yet, they aren’t economical or Co2 benign. And, in our part of the Northern hemisphere, outside of short city commuting, they are not fit for purpose. They very well maybe in the future but battery technology isn’t advancing quite as fast as many believe it is.

      • October 2, 2020 9:19 am

        Bad luck if you live in a street with no off-road parking, and competition for places, as many in Britain do.

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        October 2, 2020 9:33 am

        Oh come, Mack. I was told in 1985 that batteries were getting better and real soon would be competitive (the same author forecast that they would be cheap enough with “renewables” to replace coal fired stations**).
        And they have! Ordinary lead acid batteries have doubled in energy density (kWh per kg). By my calculations they only need to improve about 20 times more to suit EVs. Lithium batteries only need to improve between 4 times (once the fire problem is reduced) and 7 times (those less prone to combustion CURRENTLY, but without becoming fire hazards from higher chemical energy storage).

        Fortunately those posting realise that Global Warming would have raised temperatures in the UK to avoid heating being necessary in winter but not enough for air-conditioning to be necessary in summer. This would also improve the performance of those batteries, so there is chance that this policy might happen on this planet.

        I would suggest that this proposed plan allow for alternative technology e.g. people switching to travel on the backs of flying pigs.

        **no new coal fired stations would be built after 1993. How did that model work out?

      • MikeHig permalink
        October 2, 2020 1:22 pm

        Mack: I could have added those points and more: battery degradation from fast charging; vulnerability to hacking; manufacturer-imposed “upgrades”; greater particulate pollution (heavier cars); domestic incomer capacities; local cabling; etc..
        However it was just the grid capacity issue that I was trying to address.

    • In the Real World permalink
      October 2, 2020 11:29 am

      MikeHig , electric cars have been about for longer than ICE ones . There are no more big improvements to come . Electric motors are not going to improve energy efficiency by more than a tiny amount , & there is no magic unknown element which has a higher energy density to replace lithium & improve batteries .
      So the amount of energy needed for a car will not change .

      This means that it will be impossible to charge them all up .
      In the winter months there is not enough grid capacity to even charge up 2 million cars a day .Summer might have enough for 3 to 4 Million per day
      This is why they are changing the law to allow the grid to shut down their smart meters when the high loads , [ car chargers ] gets up to the limit that the grid can manage . .
      And an extra 10 Nuclear power stations will only cope with about an extra 4 million cars .
      That is all without allowing for transport to go EV , and electric home heating which would need about an extra 200 GWh of generation capacity .

      So the idea of a large amount of EVs by the next 20 years is just insanity .

      • MikeHig permalink
        October 2, 2020 1:04 pm

        Tesla have just announced upgrades to their battery design which – they claim – bring major improvements in performance (kWh/kg) and reductions in cost. They are also moving away from Cobalt because of the looming supply bottlenecks.
        Wrt to charging capacity, let me repeat: “There is a very long way to go before the overall power demand for EVs becomes a real problem as off-peak production will be sufficient for many years.” Demand dips by 15 – 20 GW overnight. That’s enough to charge a huge number of EVs, even if they were to all charge up at once.
        The change in the law to allow demand management is, imho, aimed primarily at heavy consumers which will be used during peak periods such as heating, water heaters, etc as those things are forced over to electric power. A few years ago the head of the Grid warned that we will have to get used to having power when it is available rather than when required.
        I absolutely agree that our power system is caught in a slow-motion train-wreck caused by misguided policies which is going to hit the buffers before EV charging becomes a major issue.

      • October 2, 2020 1:23 pm

        Don’t forget about the 40% of car owners without off street parking – they won’t be able to charge over night

    • In the Real World permalink
      October 2, 2020 2:09 pm

      MikeHig , your 15 to 20 GWh drop in demand does sometimes happen for a few hours [ 11PM to 6AM ] on warm nights in summertime , but your ” huge number ” of EVs that can then be charged is only a very small percentage of the private cars on the road .
      And the heavy consumers that will be shut down will be the EV chargers .
      Until they con everybody into having new smart meters which can shut down only one circuit , [ the car charger } , this will mean that power to the whole house will be shut down .

      Without a massive increase in generating capacity , EVs will not get charged once the amount of them reaches about 5% of total vehicles .

      • MikeHig permalink
        October 3, 2020 1:30 pm

        ItRW; if you take a look at Gridwatch the slump in demand happens every day, not just “sometimes”. It’s a characteristic of our consumption that we have a relatively big swing from peak to trough and back every day. Winter is the same except that the levels are higher.
        The average car mileage last year was a bit over 7,400, call it 20 miles per day. It’s hard to say whether EVs will do the same miles, or more, or less. A lot are bought as second cars for commuting, school runs and general running around. Otoh there are quite a few business users (0% BIK) who do serious miles.
        Taking 20 miles per day, today’s EVs typically get 3 – 4 miles per kWh; more on slow journeys and around town; less on faster motorway runs. Call it 3.3 as that gives us a nice neat 6 kWh per day per car.
        The overnight demand trough is approx 100 GWh, using Mk1 eyeball on Gridwatch. If all EV charging could be perfectly scheduled to use all of that, it would charge nearly 17 million cars for the average mileage.
        Clearly that is totally unrealistic for now – although with smart chargers and permanently-connected cars it is probably technically feasible today. And that is the way things are going.
        Taking another approach, how many EVs could charge at once during that off-peak trough? While some users have 7 kW domestic chargers, a lot just use a normal 3 kW 3-pin: “granny charging” as they call it. Take 5 kW as the average and that’s enough for 3 million cars.
        I hope this explains how I got to my view that the EV fleet will have to grow massively before it starts to cause problems with grid capacity. With just a bit of “smartness” in charging patterns (via tariff signals from the suppliers, for example), there is capacity for at least 5 million EVs, probably more.
        Last year UK sales of electric cars came close to 38,000. There’s a very long way to go.
        Imho the many other looming problems with the mismanagement of our power system will be biting us in the backside before EV power demand becomes a significant issue. That said, I do expect we will start to see more and more individual troubles with domestic incomers, local cabling, etc..

      • In the Real World permalink
        October 3, 2020 3:13 pm

        MikeHig , there is really no such thing as ” The Average user “.A lot of households have 2 or more cars , 1 which might just do a few miles , another probably doing a lot of miles .
        And then there is light vans which are in use all day long & will , in most cases , need charging every night .
        Just the light vans , if charged on a standard home charger , would bring the grid down if only half of the were plugged in each night .
        Which is why they need the smart meters to shut down the car chargers so that every one else is not blacked out all of the time .

        No matter how much you try to promote EVs , there is no way that the present grid could cope them for a lot of the year once they get over about 5% of the total vehicles .

  23. Gamecock permalink
    October 2, 2020 11:36 am

    From where will they get the capital? Whatever form the vast increase in electricity generation takes, someone has to pay for it. I don’t see private industry having enough capital to pay for the expansion. Government will be the only solution. So you wind up with nationalized power.

  24. October 2, 2020 12:16 pm

    MikeHig: The shift from horses to powered motors was managed by the private sector.
    A private company needs to be efficient otherwise it is replaced by ones that are.
    On the other hand Governments have no such requirement and are vulnerable to the pressures of many stakeholders including vested interests.
    The EV project is a government project.
    Those of us who remember the disaster area that was the USSR can see this project disrupting society and making all of us poorer.

    • MikeHig permalink
      October 2, 2020 1:08 pm

      wilpretty: agree 100%. I would much prefer to see EVs left to market forces, with the possible exception of access to inner cities because of air quality concerns.

    • MikeHig permalink
      October 2, 2020 1:13 pm

      wilpretty: agree 100 % The government is making a total hash of our power system – EVs are just part of a bigger cock-up that is going to cost us all very dear.

      • MikeHig permalink
        October 2, 2020 1:14 pm

        Apologies for the double post!

  25. Malcolm Chapman permalink
    October 2, 2020 1:10 pm

    The catastrophe that is approaching is very clear to all of us commenting here. It has been clear for a long time. Why (why, why, why…) isn’t there an intelligent newspaper editor, newspaper mogul, politician, media organisation, able to make a fortune out of telling the astonished public the bloody truth? There is fame and fortune, there, surely?

  26. Vernon E permalink
    October 2, 2020 1:47 pm

    My expectation would be that if any legislation about ending ICE vehicles comes in during the 2030s it will apply to sales of new vehicles. Since there are numerous people who will not accept EVs for the reasons so often stated especially the street parking (I live on a quiet suburban street where most homes have five vehicles!) there will be a huge surge to buy new ICE vehicles before the deadline. New vehicles these days have a useful life of twenty years or more so the crisis will not be that imminent and a lot will have changed. It will be similar with home heating – new build homes will have to have ground heating but existing homes won’t see their gas boilers going any time soon – by which time, hopefully, climate change will have become a distant memory.

    • October 2, 2020 11:44 pm

      Vernon, you have hit the nail on the head! People will hang on to their petrol/diesel vehicles for as long as possible. In 2050 we will look like Cuba – that is if this government scheme keeps to its schedule, which I doubt.

  27. Colin Megson permalink
    October 2, 2020 1:50 pm

    The National Grid’s FES 2020 ‘Consumer Transformation’ Scenario wants to add double that 76TWh by 2050, using just Wind And Solar Plants (WASPs). To get to 480 TWh per year with WASPs plus backup would cost £18.47 billion every year – FOREVER. And, it’s a fair bet 90% of the equipment would be imported.

    Rolls-Royce are recruiting now to start building factories next year for the production of components for their ‘home-grown’ 440 MW Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), the first of which will be operational in 2029.

    To generate the same 480 TWh per year, by 2050, a 20 years build-out of these NPPs would cost £12.42 billion per year, but just for 20 years. Then there would be a 40 years hiatus before investment starts again in 2090. It’s equivalent to £4.06 billion per year – down to almost 20% of the figure for WASPs.

    Search for: fes-2020-will-cost-13-21-billion-every-year-forever

    And then there are the WASP waste mountains. Have a look at the follow up ‘stories’.

    • Gamecock permalink
      October 2, 2020 5:34 pm

      ‘Rolls-Royce are recruiting now to start building factories next year for the production of components for their ‘home-grown’ 440 MW Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), the first of which will be operational in 2029.’

      Building factories (plural!), hiring labor, for a product to be delivered 8 years out? Hard to believe they are using their own money.

  28. Tao-das permalink
    October 2, 2020 3:09 pm

    lets park EV’s for a moment and simply look at the energy used by those such as myself that live in the countryside where some 1.6 million people rely on oil fired central heating in the winter. The average oil fired CH home consumes some 26,000 kWh of energy therefore to provide this capacity via electricity supply would require an additional 41,600,000,000 kWh the required peak demand would be much higher as heating consumed over say 8 months of the year and demand greatest between say 3pm and 11 pm . Currently, electricity supply is delivered by overhead cables given the increase in cable size and weight to accommodate both EV and CH it is unlikely that overhead supply is a practical distribution method has anyone in government factored in the cost of reengineering the local electricity distribution networks across the whole country ? Sizewell C planning has taken ten years sofar and if it ever gets the go ahead will take another ten years to build so even if we had a plan to build sufficient capacity to meet the base load by 2035, we do not have the semblance of a plan to upgrade the local power distribution network across the countryside

    • In the Real World permalink
      October 2, 2020 5:56 pm

      I did try to link to the ” Final report , Parliamentary advisory group on CCS ” , but it will not load .
      Anyway , near the end of it there is the fact that ” If all of the UKs housing was insulated up to the highest standards , it would take another 200 GWh of generation capacity for electric home heating ”
      So the whole idea was scrubbed because it would be impossible .

      But now they seem to be going ahead with the idea of domestic electric heating , & the insanity of EVs so there will be no way that the electric supply will work .

  29. Steve C permalink
    October 2, 2020 4:34 pm

    With this colossal increase in the nation’s electricity requirements planned, it’s interesting to record how things are actually moving in the real world. A few miles down the road from Nottingham is the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station, a baseload station designed in the 60s to run at a steady 2116MW, and which did so for nearly half a century, powering two million homes at an average of a bit over a kilowatt apiece. (I’ve been round it a few times with school parties, and it’s a magnificent piece of big engineering.) However, being a coal-fired station built on a coalfield, it “must” close by 2025.

    The local paper, the Evening Post, carried an announcement a few months ago telling us about its replacement. It will be a waste-burning station, which will “save around half a million tonnes of non-recyclable waste from going to landfill”. This new Leviathan will generate a throbbing 43.4MW, “enough electricity to power 90,000 homes”, they say, though now at rather less than 500W per household. It’s also 2072.6MW short of what we have now, true, but only the technically literate will notice that. And because it’ll still be “burning stuff” the plan has already attracted opposition from all the usual suspects (of course).

    Here’s the article about this exciting new development, for those who wish to be inspired:

    (Sorry if my cynicism shows, but you can see why.)

    • Gamecock permalink
      October 2, 2020 5:36 pm

      ‘It will be a waste-burning station, which will “save around half a million tonnes of non-recyclable waste from going to landfill”.’

      Trucked in from hundreds of miles away?

      Is Drax involved, i.e., will they get the waste from America?

    • jack broughton permalink
      October 2, 2020 7:31 pm

      Very similar story to the destruction of Ferrybridge power station, although Ratcliffe is bigger.
      Sadly, the lunatics who are deciding our power future are totally clueless about the importance of low cost coal fired power to the economy, the storage facility that it offers and the flexibility; they only hear the words “carbon dioxide” and shiver.

      • October 2, 2020 8:09 pm

        I cycled past Cottam Coal Power station last year, just weeks after it shut. The village was clean, and there was no evidence of “pollution” anywhere.

  30. Ken Warren permalink
    October 2, 2020 7:51 pm

    Why all the negativity? Surely a little inconvenience is a worthwhile price to pay so as to reduce the UK’s 1.2 percent contribution to man-made CO2.

    • BLACK PEARL permalink
      October 2, 2020 8:15 pm

      Well that finishes it off nicely 🙂

  31. Mewswithaview permalink
    October 2, 2020 10:20 pm

    The nightmare scenario is a forecast for a major wind storm or heavy snow conditions over the winter. Many people expect power outages everyone plugs into the grid at once figuring that they will not be able to charge the cars due to the interruption in service, so you get a “storm surge” in demand on the grid. I don;t know if any data exists but I’m sure many people top up petrol or diesel in their tanks prior to serious weather conditions, given how long it takes an EV to charge this surge in demand may last several hours.

    Somewhat jokingly I had a discussion some time ago, that if the electrical grid started to become unreliable that people would resort to diesel generators to charge their cars, indeed the electricity price rises to pay for the expanded infrastructure and may mean that diesel generators become cheaper that mains electricity to charge an EV.

    Another factor may be the rollout of “smart meters” enabling electricity companies to manage demand and drop EV chargers from the grid, there may additional headaches like surge pricing for consumers to content with that change how electricity is consumed.

    • Gamecock permalink
      October 2, 2020 10:29 pm

      Relocate your businesses to South Carolina – while you still can.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: