Rapid rise of UK electric vehicles sees National Grid double its 2040 forecast


Rapid rise of UK electric vehicles sees National Grid double its 2040 forecast

There could be as many as 36 million electric vehicles (EVs) on UK roads by 2040, almost double the number expected just a year ago.

This is according to the latest national grid future energy scenarios, published just last week. Yet despite rising electricity demand, National Grid now says the rapid rise of EVs will help the UK shift towards more renewable and low-carbon electricity generation.

Smart charging and vehicle-to-grid technology means EVs will be able to help smooth electricity usage through the hours of the day and they will be able to charge mainly when demand is low and even feed back into the grid when demand is high.

The National Grid has said of this “Growth in EV’s supports the continued trend towards low-carbon generation. They will be able to support the continued growth in renewables by storing excess generation and releasing it back onto the network when it is needed.”

FUTURE ENERGY SCENARIOS

Each year, National Grid published a set of four scenarios for the UK’s future energy supply and demand to help them plan for a rapidly changing energy system.

This year’s scenarios include a stronger focus on the UK’s transition to low-carbon to meet the UK’s legally binding greenhouse gas emissions target for 2050 – an 80% cut on 1990 levels.

TWICE AS MANY EV’s

One of the most striking changes in this year’s scenarios is the much more rapid adoption of EV’s. Between 2013 and 2015, the national grid said there would be around 5 million EVs on UK roads by 2035. It raised that 2035 outlook to 8 million in its 2016 work, rising to 10 million in 2040, with this outlook growing again last year to 13 million by 2035 and 17 million in 2040.

This year, National Grid says there could be up to 25 million EVs by 2035 and 36 million by 2040, effectively doubling its outlook from last year. The figures represent a tripling compared to 2016’s figures and a five-fold increase from the 2015 numbers. By 2040, National Grid now says EVs will reach a saturation point, with all possible vehicles electrified and new EVs replacing old ones as they retire.

CHARGING HABITS

The same June brief explains how National Grid has been working to understand the way that people will use and charge EVs. The electrification of transport – and, potentially, also heat – is set to raise UK demand for electricity, meaning more generating capacity will need to be built.

Last year, National Grid’s earlier work on the impact of this new electricity demand was widely misreported as showing that the transition to EVs would be unmanageable. Since then, it has been working to expand its evidence base and to more realistically explore the impact of EVs.

With a range of commercial developments in the works, the updated views on EV charging behaviour shed a new light on the future of the UK’s National Infrastructure.

There could be as many as 36 million electric vehicles (EVs) on UK roads by 2040, almost double the number expected just a year ago.

This is according to the latest national grid future energy scenarios, published just last week. Yet despite rising electricity demand, National Grid now says the rapid rise of EVs will help the UK shift towards more renewable and low-carbon electricity generation.

Smart charging and vehicle-to-grid technology means EVs will be able to help smooth electricity usage through the hours of the day and they will be able to charge mainly when demand is low and even feed back into the grid when demand is high.

The National Grid has said of this “Growth in EV’s supports the continued trend towards low-carbon generation. They will be able to support the continued growth in renewables by storing excess generation and releasing it back onto the network when it is needed.”

FUTURE ENERGY SCENARIOS

Each year, National Grid published a set of four scenarios for the UK’s future energy supply and demand to help them plan for a rapidly changing energy system.

This year’s scenarios include a stronger focus on the UK’s transition to low-carbon to meet the UK’s legally binding greenhouse gas emissions target for 2050 – an 80% cut on 1990 levels.

TWICE AS MANY EV’s

One of the most striking changes in this year’s scenarios is the much more rapid adoption of EV’s. Between 2013 and 2015, the national grid said there would be around 5 million EVs on UK roads by 2035. It raised that 2035 outlook to 8 million in its 2016 work, rising to 10 million in 2040, with this outlook growing again last year to 13 million by 2035 and 17 million in 2040.

This year, National Grid says there could be up to 25 million EVs by 2035 and 36 million by 2040, effectively doubling its outlook from last year. The figures represent a tripling compared to 2016’s figures and a five-fold increase from the 2015 numbers. By 2040, National Grid now says EVs will reach a saturation point, with all possible vehicles electrified and new EVs replacing old ones as they retire.

CHARGING HABITS

The same June brief explains how National Grid has been working to understand the way that people will use and charge EVs. The electrification of transport – and, potentially, also heat – is set to raise UK demand for electricity, meaning more generating capacity will need to be built.

Last year, National Grid’s earlier work on the impact of this new electricity demand was widely misreported as showing that the transition to EVs would be unmanageable. Since then, it has been working to expand its evidence base and to more realistically explore the impact of EVs.

With a range of commercial developments in the works, the updated views on EV charging behaviour shed a new light on the future of the UK’s National Infrastructure.

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