New figures question whether UK can handle electric car growth

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

 

If the whole of the UK switched to EV motoring it would take an estimated 20 nuclear power stations to run, it has been reported.

 

Published by Transport for London (TfL), the report estimates that if all the capital’s residents bought a Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S or similar electric vehicle, the extra electricity needed to recharge all those batteries would be equal to five times the power the London Underground needs to run.

 

Analysis of the figures, as reported in The Times, claims a fleet of all green cars would require between seven and eight gigawatt hours per year, if London achieved maximum uptake.

 

So far, the government has made it a requirement for the owners of larger petrol stations to build new charge points, as it looks to further the progress of plug-in take-up in the UK.

 

It was reported last year that around 9,500 people in London alone die each year as a result of pollution. Drivers of the most polluting cars will soon have to pay a £10 pollution charge to enter central London, as part of Mayor Sadie Kahn's Clean Air Action plan.

 

While EV car sales continue to rise sharply year-on-year, the 35,000 or so such models bought in 2016 represent just 1.3% of all new car registrations.

 

It’ll be at least 10 years before electricity takes over from petrol and diesel, even if electric registrations continue the rate of growth, which was up by 12.1% compared to 2015.

 

Calor, which produces LPG – the alternative gas currently available on around 1,500 UK forecourts – claims that vehicle manufacturers are choosing not to make other options available to the driving public.

 

Its head of strategy, Paul Blacklock, says: “Everyone is saying that we need to go to a wholly electric vehicle future, but they aren’t being honest about what the possible cost of this will be…We have to seek alternatives.”

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