Mass EV charging: Is a can of worms hiding under the bonnet?
Electric car home charging point [image credit: evcompare.ie]
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.
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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.”
The Hidden Cost of Net Zero: Rewiring the UK – by Mike Travers
via Tallbloke’s Talkshop
July 27, 2020 at 06:21AM