Plans to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2040 in a bid to encourage people to buy electric vehicles are a “tall order” and will place unprecedented strain on the National Grid, motoring experts have warned.
Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, has warned that Britain “can’t carry on” with petrol and diesel cars because of the damage that they are doing to people’s health and the planet. “There is no alternative to embracing new technology,” he said.
However the AA warned that the National Grid would be under pressure to “cope with a mass switch-on after the evening rush hour”, while Which? Car magazine warned that electric cars are currently more expensive and less practical.
According to a National Grid report, peak demand for electricity will add around 30 gigawatts to the current peak of 61GW – an increase of 50 per cent.
The extra electricity needed will be the equivalent of almost 10 times the total power output of the new Hinckley Point C nuclear power station being built in Somerset.
National Grid predicts Britain will become increasingly reliant on imported electricity, which will rise from around 10 per cent of total electricity to around one third, raising questions about energy security.