Petrol and diesel cars banned from 2040 – Can the UK’s electricity infrastructure cope?

Last month the UK Government announced that it will be banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars in a bid to reduce the amount of pollution in cities across the country. The levels of harmful pollution in areas of London and other major cities is the cause of a large number of deaths every year.

As the technology in electric cars advances, it is becoming more practical for people to own one instead of a petrol or diesel alternative. It is hoped that the increase in demand from the banning of fuel ran cars will give electric car makers the resources to advance this technology even further. A big issue with electric cars has always been the distance you can travel before having to charge it up and the amount of time it takes to charge once plugged in, however, companies such as Tesla are leading the way in this sector, increasing the range and shortening the charge time with every model they release.

It seems like the perfect solution to the UK’s pollution problem, however, as the majority of the UK’s electricity is produced from fossil fuels the UK will have to find a large amount of clean electricity generation in a relatively short period of time.

The UK’s current electricity generation is around 61 GW per year and it is expected that this will need to increase by another 30 GW per year to cope with the demand from electric cars. Putting that into perspective it is the equivalent of building 9.6 Hinckley Nuclear Power Stations. With each power station taking around 20 years to build, the UK Government will have to move fast to get the country in a position to cope with the extra demand.

If electricity demand was to outstrip supply, the Government would be forced to import electricity from Europe, which will push electricity prices up for businesses across the UK.