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07 Dec 2020

Can the UK power grid meet demand for an EV future?

By Lynn
  • Read time: 3 minutes
In power, the National Grid is the high-voltage energy transmission system. It links electricity generation plants and major substations to Great Britain. It ensures that everywhere there is a generation of electricity, it can meet the demand. The network spans to most parts of the United Kingdom and a couple of islands in the immediate area, not including Ireland.

The North Power Grid provides 3.9 million homes and businesses in Yorkshire, North East, and northern Lincolnshire with secure, stable energy in urban and agricultural English societies.

The organisation’s network stretches through counties and promotes sustainable development for an area of nearly 9,650 square miles. As a UK pioneer in the industry. The Northern Power Grid distribution network provider operates tirelessly to offer outstanding customer support to the environment and its residents.

The power grid’s technologies

With a series of groundbreaking ventures, it develops emerging innovations. It educates its staff to build and operate potential energy networks that communicate rapidly with intelligent and low carbon technologies.

Northern Power Grid also makes network data more available to its users through creative technology. The demand and heat maps of Northern Power Grid and Distribution Future Energy Scenarios and Auto Design promote the decarbonisation path by enabling consumers to make more insightful choices about their electricity consumption, the nuclear power supply, and Electric Vehicles (EV) connections.

The UK power grid’s capacity

Although registrations for electric cars are up in the UK, many fear that the country’s power supply grid is not ready to meet this demand.

According to the Financial Times report, motorway service station operators are saying the United Kingdom’s electrical network is not up to EV charging standard. It is, thus, indicating that sustainability will pose a challenge. It seems that it creates a bit of a barricade in the rollout of charging points.


Although the RoadChef, one of the three top motorway service station operators globally, is seeking to install EV charging points, it cannot go forward as expected.

Local grid operators (DNOs) have primarily kept their EV charging point programme. The local operators bill millions of pounds and require at least three years to build up the requisite facilities, says DNOs Chairman, Simon Turl.

Considering the UK Government’s most recent announcement to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2030, it is likely to help those trying to install EV charge points a little more proactively. However, there is no guarantee or confirmation of government funding availability.

In rural areas where they could be the most required, the costs of building EV chargers would be the highest. That is to ensure that the UK meets its carbon goals and encourages using EVs for passengers’ longer trips.

The power grid’s challenges

Mid this year, on 14 May 2020, a power grid company in the UK, Elexon, agonised over a possible ransomware breach. This action did not, however, interrupt electricity supply to residential homes.

Elexon controls a vital aspect of the electricity supply chain, called the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC). It does this in partnership with clients, including the country’s retailers, dealers, manufacturers, generators, and oil importers and exporters.The organisation reads over a million meters daily. The purpose is to correlate what generators and manufacturers claim to generate or consume with actual quantities before measuring the price difference and transferring funds accordingly.

Another major challenge is how cost-intensive this project will be. National Grid, the UK’s power network operating company, has currently assigned fifty-four sites in the UK and Wales. Without building a brand-new system, it is suitable for ultra-fast chargers construction. However, it will cost up to 1 billion pounds, which will not happen immediately.


Requirements of an EV future

The UK’s determined EV goals will require correspondingly optimistic charging targets. A progressively robust charge network will expectedly sustain combined electric cars between 5.2 and 6.7 million and a 50 to 70 percent share of new passenger cars by 2030.

The charge of electric cars is a hindrance to its adoption. Battery capacity has increased rapidly, today from 100 to 200 to 300 miles. Electric car prices are decreasing, consumer choice growing, and the performance of electrically produced products increasing. But how will the infrastructure for charging by EV be maintained?

When we place our cars on the highway, fast charging is more important than a big battery. Still, there is a demand for smaller and slow charging electric vehicles for local or urban travel. Some of the latest cars will have modest batteries, short-range, and a regular charge of 7 KW in 2020, such as the Skoda Citigo E iV or Seat Mii.

Surprisingly, EV chargers are less comprehensible than what we can expect from anything that powers our future. Billing structures could be horrid, and payment procedures incoherent. Links could be unreliable or intermittent. Devices may crash. The other side of the connector adapter causes the user interface’s discovery.


It is for this very reason that having a charger at home would make the most sense. Not only is it cheaper, as it eliminates the need to park in the pricier parking spots that have charging systems. It is more convenient and time-saving since you no longer need to queue in line at the charging stations. Plus, you get to spend your day with peace of mind knowing full well you’re operating on a full battery as you leave the house each day. There’s no need to panic or hastily look for a charging station.

Consider several factors before installing an electric vehicle charging system at home, like your current supply and whether it is single-phase or 3-phase. Other factors are parking distance to the charging station to avoid a pile-up of too much cabling. You will also need to decide which type and how many connectors you want to install. So, if you’re still stuck with the petrol-driven car, perhaps it’s time to consider investing in an electric vehicle for that better experience.

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Written by Lynn

Writes blogs about EV charging and climate solutions for 50five.