There is enough spare capacity on the UK power system to electrify every car on the road, according to Flexitricity co-founder and chief strategy officer Dr. Alastair Martin.
Because each car is effectively a battery, the UK would not run out of power by doing so, he suggested.
Running the numbers on 2016 generation load factors, Martin estimated that there was 120TWh spare. That, he said, is roughly the amount of power required to switch fossil fuelled cars to EVs.
However, he pointed out, what is the point of switching from one fossil fuel, oil, to another, coal or gas?
“Yes, that would be better than burning oil in tiny, inefficient engines, but it is hardly a success.”
However, he pointed out that in 2015, the UK generated 57TWh from renewable sources, “and it is growing rapidly, so we are half way there,” he said.
Martin was speaking at National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios launch. While much press has focused on the increased peak demand resulting from rapid growth of EVs, Martin said smart chargers and, crucially, a smarter, joined-up energy system, could avoid the need for additional copper and plant.
However, he said, that requires policymakers, the energy industry and carmakers to “start smart”.