THE ROAD TO SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

Autumn Road

The Government has announced plans in recent times to make all new vehicles sold in the UK Electric by 2040. This is known as the "Road to Zero" strategy. In this blog I am going to assess this plan in an electrical capacity, and talk about the increased demand on the already stretched Energy Suppliers.

So let's look at the Government strategy in it's easiest to digest terms:

  • strategy sets out ambition for at least 50% — and as many as 70% — of new car sales to be ultra low emission by 2030, alongside up to 40% of new vans

  • government will take steps to enable massive roll-out of infrastructure to support electric vehicle revolution

  • strategy sets the stage for the biggest technology advancement to hit UK roads since the invention of the combustion engine

Looking at this plan on paper, it clearly shows a huge increase in demand for the EV market, and eventually, everyone will have to go down the route of getting themselves into the seat of an Electric Vehicle. With your new Electric Vehicle comes probably your biggest concern..

"What am I going to do if I get stuck in traffic with no battery left and I am 40 miles away from the nearest charge point?"

Well, VW have teamed up with Tesco to create a charging network, meaning that you could see charge points installed by Pod Point across all Tesco filling stations. 

Tesla have been well ahead of this market and have already created themselves a charge network that their drivers are already reaping the benefits of. 

These "rapid chargers" that will be installed can charge your vehicle to 80% of it's full capacity in 20 minutes. 

Here is my biggest concern as an Electrical Installer:

At the moment, when we are awake and boiling kettles, washing clothes, doing our tax returns on the computer, we are using the most amount of power. When we go to sleep, that consumption drops off hugely, but what happens when we are all plugging our cars in to charge over night, ready for that early morning commute?

The energy consumption won't drop off as it does now, it will almost certainly increase.

Currently a 32amp charger will take 4.5 hours to fully charge a 33kWh battery (BMW i3). 

What happens when you get yourself a new Tesla with a 100kW battery. You're looking at a 32 amp consistent rate for 13.8 hours (from 0% - 100%). That is a huge increase in demand for both the household and the Energy Supplier.

So where do we go from here? Gas and coal will be burning to produce the Electricity at a rate of knots, and the whole point of this is to reduce the emissions and effects on Global warming. 

Sustainable Energy will have to make an appearance, with the Government backing grants and tariffs for Solar PV users across the country. There is already Tesla power banks currently available on the market, allowing a user to store Solar energy in battery banks, and use that to charge their vehicles. 

The end results for me are clear, we need a sustainable energy solution, a way to store that energy or sell it back to the suppliers, and Electric Vehicles. 

Can this happen by 2040? Well I'd better get started...

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