Fears National Grid may not cope if drivers load their vehicles during rush hour – .

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Fears National Grid may not cope if drivers load their vehicles during rush hour – .


Electric car drivers could cause power outages if they charge their vehicles at “rush hour” during the day, a lawmaker warned.

The Commons Transport Select Committee said owners should be encouraged to recharge batteries “little but often” to avoid shortages.

Conservative MP Huw Merriman, who chairs the committee, warned that the national grid would have to be upgraded if it was to keep up with the load throughout the day.

UK region differences showing where chargers are per 100,000 people (data from 2020)

He said: “Unless the national grid gains more capacity, consumer behavior will have to change so that recharging takes place when supply can meet additional demand.

“The alternative will be blackouts in parts of the country. Neither can we repeat the “out of focus” mobile broadband lottery, which would mean that people in remote areas cannot join the electric vehicle revolution.

“To help consumers see their route to a zero-emission world, the choice to use an electric vehicle should be as transparent as possible. ”

Electric car battery sizes range from approximately 17.6 kWh to 100 kWh. The average cost of electricity per kWh is 17.2 pence, meaning the smaller models cost around £ 3 to charge from a normal three-prong household outlet compared to £ 17 for the larger ones.

The time required to charge electric cars varies greatly depending on the type of charger.

The transport committee argues that motorists should be persuaded to charge cars at times when the national grid can meet full demand, such as at night.

During its investigation, the commission heard testimony from representatives of the energy industry that smart chargers – which change the amount of electricity sent to a car based on overall demand – will play a crucial role. .

The report called on ministers to work with National Grid to identify locations where the system will not be able to cope with additional use.

The AMC has warned of the existence of a postal code lottery for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The latest figures show that the availability of public devices in London overshadows more rural areas. Source: Electric vehicle charging station statistics: April 2021 – GOV.UK

He stressed the importance of protecting consumers who top up in public against excessive fees and having to have multiple accounts.

The report says, “The government must demand that industry use price as a lever to move consumer behavior away from conventional refueling habits towards a ‘little but often’ approach. “

During its investigation, the commission heard testimony from representatives of the energy industry that smart chargers – which change the amount of electricity sent to a car based on overall demand – will play a crucial role. .

The report called on ministers to work with National Grid to identify locations where the system will not be able to cope with additional use.

He stressed the importance of protecting consumers who top up in public against excessive fees and having to have multiple accounts.

The government plans to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars from 2030, with hybrids being banned from 2035.

Plug-in postcodes: These are the places in the UK where the demand for electric vehicles grew fastest in the last year

Plug-in postcodes: These are the places in the UK where the demand for electric vehicles grew fastest in the last year

Only 11% of new car registrations last year were for ultra-low emission cars.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport said: “Our vision is to have one of the best electric vehicle infrastructure networks in the world.

The six recommendations of the Transport Committee

1. Work with the national network to map national coverage to eradicate “unlocated” areas and identify locations where the network will not face additional use

2. Make the provision of public charges a requirement of local development and provide funding to local planning and transport agencies to hire staff with a mandate to provide charging infrastructure

3. Protect the consumer from excessive fees and multiple accounts when billing in public

4. Resolve the gap between the 5% VAT incurred for home charging and the 20% VAT for the street

5. Emphasize that industry uses price to shift consumer billing behavior towards a “little but often” approach and at times when the national grid can meet total demand

6. Boost the manufacture and sales of new electric vehicles by forcing those who sell the fewest electric vehicles to buy credits from those who produce the most; this credit will then be used to reduce the purchase price of electric vehicles (the “ZEV mandate”)

“As more people switch to electricity, we want charging stations to be accessible and affordable across the country, which is why we welcome the report of the Special Committee on Transport.

“Along with our ambitious new phase-out dates, we have announced £ 1.3bn to accelerate the deployment of charging infrastructure, targeting support on motorways and major A-roads to allay any related anxiety. long journeys and by installing more on-street charging stations near homes. and workplaces to make charging as easy as refueling a gasoline or diesel car. ‘

Graeme Cooper, Head of Future Markets at National Grid, said: “We will work with the government to determine where critical grid capacity is needed to enable faster deployment of load points.

“But also to seek a head start on the needs of electric or hydrogen trucks and other forms of transport.

“There will be an increase in energy demand, so we have to make sure that we are future proof, placing the right wires in the right place for future demand. “

Their report comes less than a week after the Competition and Markets Authority raised its own concerns over the slow rollout of the nation’s public charging network and an existing lottery of charging stations.

He called for an increased deployment of rapid devices so that charging an EV can be “as easy as filling up with gasoline or diesel.”

The Transport Committee document provides a series of recommendations to improve Britain’s public charging network, amid fears that there is a lottery of infrastructure postcodes, with drivers in rural and remote areas and those without off-street parking with limited access to devices.

MPs said the nationwide grid either needed to be upgraded to cope with rising demand for electric vehicles, or the industry was being pushed to introduce incentives that encourage

MPs said the nationwide grid either needed to be upgraded to cope with rising demand for electric vehicles, or the industry was being pushed to introduce incentives that encourage “little but often” charges to reduce the cost. pressure on the electricity network

He wants the government to make the provision of public charges a requirement of local development – and provide funding to local planning and transport agencies to hire staff to provide charging infrastructure.

It also calls for protecting drivers from excessive costs and tackling the tax gap between home charging and using a public device.

Currently, only 5 percent VAT is charged for home charging, while those using devices on the street must pay the full 20 percent rate.

The report also called for a zero-emission vehicle mandate by 2035 to boost both manufacturing and sales of new electric vehicles, forcing those who sell the least electric vehicles to buy credits from those who produce them. most.

These credits could then be used to reduce the purchase price of a new electric car.

Committee members said that “transferring the subsidy from the taxpayer to the manufacturer will encourage those who deliver the fewest EVs to our showrooms to improve their game.”

Randolph Brazier, director of innovation and electricity systems at the Energy Networks Association, which represents energy grid companies in the UK and Ireland, said: “A smart and flexible grid is the most efficient and reliable option to achieve Net Zero – one that we pave the way to our flexibility markets and our leading intelligent systems.

“Allowing early investments in power grids now and making sure charging points are smart will allow customers across the country to cut costs and ensure they see the full benefits of their electric vehicles. ”

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