MPs have urged government to be more ambitious about phasing out petrol and diesel cars. They said its current target of 2040 should be tightened up and brought forward to 2032 to give industry and consumers sharper signals that the tide is turning.
The Beis Select Committee report includes evidence from the energy and automotive industry.
During its inquiry, National Grid told the Committee that the Electricity System Operator could “absolutely” cope with the extra demand on the power system if sales of new petrol and diesel car were phased out by 2030.
Electricity network operators were less bullish, but said electric vehicles, if charging is controlled – or made ‘smart’ – could help balance their systems. Car and battery manufacturers also told MPs that providing balancing services using EVs is feasible and will not drain car batteries.
The report recommends a national push on charging infrastructure to help address the ‘chicken and egg’ aspect of range anxiety. It called for more technical and financial support for local authorities – which government has previously suggested have been slow to take up charging infrastructure funding.
The report follows analysis by Dieter Helm’s consultancy Aurora that suggests up to £6bn investment in publicly available charging infrastructure will be required by 2040 to handle high penetration of EVs.
However, Aurora’s report found that electrifying cars could reduce emissions by 90% and suggested owners of such charging infrastructure – industrial and commercial companies – could turn a profit by charging just a few pence per kilowatt hour above retail rates. It also suggests using EVs to help balance the grid could enable higher deployment of renewable generation.
Meanwhile, Pivot Power, which plans to build a 2GW network of batteries to deliver superfast charging hubs, today announced it has secured planning permission for its second site at Carlisle. It already has planning permission for a 50MW battery at Southampton.
National Grid is also working up its own plans for transmission connected EV charging infrastructure.
See the Select Committee report here.
See the Aurora report here.