Will the National Grid Collapse when a Nation full of EV Owners Plug In?

EVs are well past the tipping point towards mass adoption, but time and time again we keep hearing that the National Grid will not be able to cope when we are a nation full of EV owners all plugging in to charge at the same time.

So do we have an impending disaster looming that everyone has overlooked?

Is there any truth in this, or is it another EV myth? 

Let’s look at the facts.

- There are 31.9 million cars in the UK (petrol, diesel and EV combined).

- The average car does around 20 miles a day in the UK, which for an average EV will use around 5 kWh per day for the 20 mile journey. That ‘loss’ can easily be replaced by a 7 kWh home charger within one hour.

- EV battery sizes can range from 40 kWh to 100 kWh. In very simple terms using the average daily mileage, a 40 kWh battery can last for 8 days, and a 100 kWh battery can last for 20 days before a recharge is needed.

- We all do different daily mileages, with different driving styles in vehicles with different capabilities. So the need for charging will be different for each person. We don’t all go to the fuel station together now with ICE vehicles, so why should it be any different with EVs?  

- The move towards EVs is a transition rather than a cliff edge. So there is a gradual build up of the electrical loading on the grid, just as there has been for the last 20-30 years as we all bought bigger computers, more powerful ovens and more electrical goods etc, and the grid has coped throughout that transition.

- It takes around 6 kWh of energy to produce 1 gallon of fossil fuel, but with the demise of ICE vehicles, the demand for that fuel will reduce. So that energy can then be diverted back into the grid for other uses, for example, to charge EVs.

- Even if a large number of EV owners do plug in to the grid together, a large proportion of users will be using a Smart Charging System which will also even out the charging load on the grid, and most will charge overnight to take advantage of cheaper electricity costs and less loading on the grid. In turn, this will also all work in conjunction with load balancing measures from the energy companies.

- At the very least, the National Grid may need to upgrade some local sub-stations to account for a increasing electrical usage in some areas as EV ownership increases, but all that is effectively a redistribution of the available power from the National Grid.

In short, the National Grid has more than enough capacity to charge the growing number of EVs in the UK because we are in a gradual transition towards EV adoption rather than a sudden cliff edge.

Another EV myth busted.

Happy to buy an EV now?