There could be as many as 11 million electric vehicles on British roads by 2030 and 36 million by 2040, in what would be a major upheaval for the UK’s energy system.
National Grid’s latest report on the future energy system overshoots the Government’s own targets which call for an end to petrol and diesel car sales by the same year.
The acceleration of the electric vehicle market will bolster demand for electricity, which is already in relatively tight supply, but the dual growth in battery storage will dramatically reduce the amount of new power generation projects which will be needed.
This time last year National Grid data estimated that the electric cars could increase peak demand electricity by as little as 8GW by 2030.
In its latest report the same amount is likely to be needed only by 2040 if consumers charge vehicles at off-peak times and through vehicle-to-grid technology.
Fintan Slye, of National Grid, said the growth of electric vehicles is one of the major trends in the system operator’s scenario planning which is used within the industry to inform decision making.
“We are already operating in an exciting period of change – a trend which is set to continue, certainly up to 2050 and beyond,”
he said, meaning that National Grid’s work balancing energy supply and demand “will become increasingly complex”.
National Grid expects “smart” energy use, which uses digital algorithms to charge and release energy from storage at the most cost effective time, will play a major role in shaping the energy system by the end of the next decade.
Read more: Telegraph