Mass EV charging: Is a can of worms hiding under the bonnet?

Posted: July 27, 2020 by oldbrew in Energy, government
Tags: , ,

Electric car home charging point [image credit:]

H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

Scenario — having been pushed into buying an electric car, and spending large sums on upgrading your home electricity system, to cope with the government’s haphazard but supposedly climate-related demands: “Should you charge visitors for a recharge? You might gift the cost to friends and relatives, but what about the plumber or the carer?” – asks Transport Xtra.
– – –
The Government’s push to electrify road transport and domestic heating could place major cost burdens on consumers, says a new report.

Electric vehicles have become something of a panacea for politicians as they grapple with how to decarbonise the transport sector.

But for some engineers, the headlong rush to electrify road transport and domestic heating too is a major cause for concern.

LTT reported in May the top-down analysis of Michael Kelly, the former chief scientific adviser to the Department for Communities and Local Government (LTT 29 May & Letters 26 Jun). Now a more bottom-up analysis has been prepared by retired engineer Mike Travers. Both reports have been published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation think tank.

“It is clear that the costs of supporting all the plans the Government has for transport and homes is going to be very high, and it is going to be made worse by the fact that the changeover is not being thought through, let alone planned effectively,” says Travers.

“Part of the problem is that there is no institution or organisation in a suitable position to do so. The distribution companies own the transformers and cables, but may or may not be responsible for the smart meters. They therefore have little interest in some form of smart control [of electricity demand]. As profit-making companies, they also have no interest in investing for the future load increases, as they can charge for all the upgrading work as it is required.”

Decarbonisation will place huge new demands on the electricity network, with homeowners installing electric vehicle charging points, heat pumps and electric showers.

“The extra demand for electricity will overwhelm most domestic fuses, thus requiring homeowners to install new ones, as well as circuit-breakers and new distribution boards,” says Travers.

“Most will also have to rewire between their main fuse and the distribution network. In urban areas, where most electrical cabling is underground, this will involve paying for a trench to be dug between the home and the feeder circuits in the street.”

Continued here.

GWPF Briefing — The Hidden Cost of Net Zero: Rewiring the UK – by Mike Travers

  1. oldbrew says:

    Deciding who gets a free recharge will be the least of your net-zero problems – see the ‘hidden cost’ report.

  2. JB says:


    Downtown KCMO when parking on the street, at a kiosk post nearby you key in your license plate number, desired time, enter cash or CC, and get a receipt with particulars. Not that I’m in favor of paid street parking, but its more efficient than packing a bag of coins.

    But that’s the easiest hurdle in this morass of EV nightmare.

  3. ivan says:

    The real question is ‘just who is paying for the electricity?’ If it is the home owner then who cares who he lets use it BUT if he is getting some form of subsidy because he has an EV it then becomes the taxpayers problem and I doubt that many would be happy to pay for all and sundry leaching off their electricity bill.

  4. Phoenix44 says:

    Amazingly enough massively increasing the demand for something will require massive investment in supplying it.

  5. Kip Hansen says:

    This is the hidden factor that is being ignored.

    It is worse than described here — the entire local electrical grids of modern nations will have to be upgraded to support ubiquitous electric vehicle ownership. In the US, all older homes have a 200 amp or less electric drop from the pole. Modern Fast Chargers require the whole input…..

  6. Chaswarnertoo says:

    What will the Government do to replace the lost tax revenue?

  7. Gamecock says:

    ‘Electric vehicles have become something of a panacea for politicians as they grapple with how to decarbonise the transport sector.’

    They don’t really believe it. Like so many Greeny press releases, the point is to get YOU TO BELIEVE it is possible. It can’t withstand the simplest scrutiny.

  8. oldbrew says:

    They conflate pollution and climate, so if you don’t buy one set of claims (climate) they can switch the propaganda to the other set (pollution).

  9. Stephen Richards says:

    Many european governments are now going hell for leather to go green as fast as each of them can. Banning wood burners, coal burning, oil boilers, diesel cars, then petrol cars. We have lost the non existent debate guys and girls.

    This green control of the people will not end well either way. Broken economies or broken people.

  10. oldbrew says:

    If people need to find out the hard way why so-called ‘green’ policies aren’t practical or feasible in the long run, so be it.

  11. pochas94 says:

    Energy efficiency is not the reason for going to hydrogen. As you indicate, the electrolysis and fuel cell inefficiencies are offset by the major inefficiencies of running an internal combustion engine. It’s about a wash. So what do you get and is it worth it? Leaving aside the boogeyman of Global Warming, you get energy independence, the freedom of having to import fuel from politically unstable sources. So, unless fossil fuels become a financial or political liability there is no good reason for going hydrogen, unless you’re a hydrogen hobbyist. And if that’s the case the steam reforming process is the way to go. And, it gets you away from having to be plugged in when you’re not driving. And, it expiates your sin for having departed the Garden of Eden.

  12. oldbrew says:

    Bad Medicine: Why Hydrogen Gas Ain’t No Cure For Intermittent Wind & Solar
    July 29, 2020 by stopthesethings

    (so the story goes, but see the video)

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    In the USA, road transport energy used roughly equals total present electricity used.

    To electrify road transport requires building the entire grid and generation capacity again.

    It just can not be done, especially so in the time scale chosen, certainly can’t be done with wind & solar – just not enough of it possible. Worse in northern Europe.

  14. oldbrew says:

    JULY 27, 2020
    The UK plans to build huge batteries to store renewable energy – but there’s a much cheaper solution
    by Andrew Cruden, The Conversation
    – – –
    Still pushing the nonsense of using EV batteries as grid storage. But it serves to show the level of desperation as they press for an impossible energy future.

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