Electric vehicles are inevitable
EVs are now cheaper to own and run in the UK than petrol and diesel cars; a "tipping point" at which experts predict sales will rapidly accelerate to out-compete polluting cars.
The UK aims for almost half of all new cars sold in 2030 to be zero emission, and 100% by 2040. In all, 20 countries have announced deadlines on the sale of fossil fuel-powered cars, 23 major cities have announced bans on their use, and new EV debuts are hitting the news weekly.
That's great news! EVs will play a vital role in reducing carbon emissions and air pollution. But as the demand for electricity in transport goes up, it also raises an interesting challenge for our electricity grid…
The need for smarter charging
Traditionally, power grids have been designed so that supply is manipulated to meet demand. Power flows one way down the cables from a small number of huge power stations to us, making sure the cables are big enough to supply power during 'peak' demand.
This does the job, but it's neither very efficient nor cost effective, and it could quickly become unwieldy in our future energy system.
Electrification of heat and transport will increase pressure, particularly in urban areas where it costs more to upgrade. A recent study by Piclo Energy shows that UK “peak” electricity demand could increase by 50% within 30 years, and that around 20% of total peak demand will be from EV charging.
Another study finds that when 40% of cars on the road are electric one third of the UK's low voltage electricity network may require upgrading. Imagine engineering works in every third street, countrywide. Blimey.
In short, without being smart about how we charge, we’re in for a nasty shock. The costs will be enormous: Ofgem expects we can avoid paying up to £40bn by 2050 by using energy smarter.
Smarter charging with Hypervolt
At Hypervolt we see this problem as a great big clean energy solution.
We’ve been awarded Government funding to develop a platform that will schedule charging across local neighbourhoods to reduce peak demand. In future, with tens of millions of EVs on the road, flexible charging will reduce electricity costs for all of us.
Even better, smarter charging will help add huge amounts of renewable energy without a second thought for their variability. For example, instead of having to switch off solar and wind when there's too much (like National Grid has been forced to do this weekend - what a waste!), smarter EV charging could soak up all that extra power.
And as solar and wind are already becoming our cheapest sources of energy, this makes a 100% clean energy system even cheaper and achievable sooner. Who says it's not easy being green?
We’re very excited to share more details on the project with you, so watch this space! We’ll be kicking off this summer. Get in touch to learn how Hypervolt can save you money with smarter, greener charging.
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