Electric cars forecast to create extra 18GW demand for power in UK

Electric vehicles could create as much as 18 gigawatts of extra demand for electricity — the equivalent of the capacity of nearly six Hinkley Point nuclear power stations — at peak times by 2050, according to National Grid.

National Grid is assuming electric vehicle sales could account for more than 90 per cent of all cars in the UK by 2050, with 1m on Britain’s roads by the early 2020s and as many as 9m by 2030.

So electric vehicles on Britain’s roads could see peak electricity demand jump by more than the capacity of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station by 2030.

The forecasts are contained in the grid’s Future Energy Scenarios report, published today.

Three of the report’s four scenarios predict that solar power will have the biggest share of generation capacity by 2050. In all of the scenarios, new nuclear power stations are assumed to be built and the capacity of interconnectors that provide backup power from Europe rises from 4GW now to between 10GW and 19GW in 2030.

Regardless of how much of the UK’s gas comes from fracking, National Grid sees gas as playing a key role in power and heating for decades.