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Britain faces blackouts unless it prepares for electric car boom

Electric vehicles could increase national electricity demand by 30 per cent by 2050

The Electric Vehicles Energy Task Force said on Thursday that the UK's national grid will struggle to cope with a switch to zero-emission vehicles. Eleanor Bentall for The National.
The Electric Vehicles Energy Task Force said on Thursday that the UK's national grid will struggle to cope with a switch to zero-emission vehicles. Eleanor Bentall for The National.

Britain needs to invest in its electricity network or face power cuts because of an anticipated surge in demand from charging electric vehicles, a new government report has warned.

The Electric Vehicles Energy Task Force said on Thursday that the country’s national grid will struggle to cope with a switch to zero-emission vehicles.

It estimated that surge in popularity of electric vehicles could increase Britain’s electricity demand by 30 per cent by 2050. The government in December announced plans to encourage more electric car ownership by introducing more road-side charging points in rural areas.

Ministers have pledged to phase out all petrol and diesel cars by 2040 as part of its ambitious target to reach net zero levels of greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of the century, the first major world economy to set that target. Road transport currently accounts for 29 per cent of emissions.

The report said widespread power failures in UK in August 2019 could happen again if the UK doesn’t improve its infrastructure. “This represents a fundamental restructuring of the energy supply infrastructure and brings challenges that should not be underestimated,” it said.

Updated: January 16, 2020 06:00 PM

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