There is bad news on the horizon for electric car drivers as Government regulator Ofgem reveals plans to combat strain on the UK’s electricity network.
With 160,000 electric cars (EV) on UK roads and a spike in the numbers sold over the past few years according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), electric car drivers face paying more to keep their cars running than initially realised.
Much to the displeasure of most petrol and diesel drivers, electric cars are exempt from road tax if not opting for a high-end model that the list price exceeds£40,000. While the running costs are generally much lower as car parks up and down the country offer free charging for electric cars; it seems that some things may become more expensive.
“Consumers should be rewarded for being flexible with their demand but may pay a premium if their behaviour adds to peak demand or local congestion [on power networks],” said a spokesperson for regulator Ofgem, speaking to The Guardian, commenting on the failure of electric cars altering their charging to off-peak hours.
The UK’s power network is already under pressure during its peak in demand which is between 4 pm and 6 pm, and the cause of further stress would be a surge in the number of electric cars being simultaneously charged.
Ofgem’s suggested solution involves smart charging during off-peak hours for electricity demand. The idea of creating so-called ‘smart charging’ means that a car plugged in at 5 pm may only start charging at midnight, or when the demand has reduced enough. The chargers would be able to react to demand and only charge when the rest of the demand was low enough.
Already it is known that charging an electric car at public charging points is much costlier than at home. According to What Car?’s article published earlier this year, the cost of charging your car at home at 3kWh, during the night is 7p per kWh while the cost for charging in the day is exactly double. Compared to the cost of Charge Your Car (7kWh) at 20p per kWh and Shell Recharge (43-50kWh) at 49p, charging at home seems to be the only long-term solution, but as not everyone has parking spots, this is not possible.
According to research conducted by Good Energy in 2017, 80% of electric car drivers charge their cars at home or work. With the increase in popularity of electrics comes the issue of finding a public charging point, particularly at a shopping centre. IKEA refunds the cost of electricity at its electric charging points if you spend in store. Meanwhile, rapid chargers at public charging points cost more than standard electricity charging points due to pumping more electricity into your car’s battery in a shorter timescale making them more cost-effective.
In a recent consultation document released by Ofgem, they emphasised the need to push users to use the power network at times or places where there is sufficient supply and capacity, and in doing so, reduce the requirement for new investment and keep bills as low as possible for the average consumer.
As we wrote about in May 2018, the UK is simply not ready for electric vehicles on a mass scale, with the required infrastructure being required to charge millions of electric cars at the same time. National Grid anticipates that there will be 11m electric vehicles within the next 12 years. As it currently stands, there won’t be, sufficient charging points, with energy analysts predicting that electric cars will account for around 3% of the total energy demand and the requirement for an additional 400,000 charging points which would come at the cost of £30bn to the taxpayer.
A new strategy
This comes as a direct result of the ‘Road to Zero’ Government strategy. Differential pricing is set to be the norm with electric, especially at forecourts, and even more so at ones in high demand locations, such as motorway service areas.
Jonathan Brearley, executive director of systems and networks at Ofgem, said: “Ofgem is working with the government to support the electric vehicle revolution in Britain, which can bring big benefits to consumers. Our reforms will help more users charge their electric vehicles and save them money.”
A Government grant for electric cars provided by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) provides £500 off the cost of purchasing and installing a home charging point – most electric and plug-in hybrid cars are eligible for this scheme. Owners can claim one charging point per eligible vehicle and up to two charging points per household.
However, a new law under the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018 that was passed last week, it will be mandatory for anyone installing an electric charge point to have a smart charging capability, where a car plugged in at 5 pm would only start charging at midnight. However, the issue with smart charging is if there were a power cut overnight and your car didn’t start charging in time, having a flat battery and an emergency could be an absolute nightmare for everyone involved.s.
Electric car drivers should be concerned with this proposed differential pricing strategy, particularly when it comes to considering the prices on motorways. There needs to be a solution to the problem otherwise, with the rise in sales of electric cars, the UK’s power network will feel the full effect of the EV revolution. Petrol prices are already sky high for petrol and diesel cars at motorway service areas. This follows a £2m Government trial, which finished earlier this year, with the installation of roadside motorway signs. The move by government ministers was intended to advise drivers about the cost of fuel at the next three service stations and steer motorway services in the right direction in making prices more competitive. However, this was not the outcome, and the results did nothing for prices. Introducing differential pricing comes at a time when the Government are trying to drive more people to take up electric cars, but meanwhile allowing charging stations to increase prices. At motorway service areas, the demand for fuel is inelastic due to motorists needing to fill up and being held captive, thus meaning the that the price of filling up or charging, as the case may be, increases drastically beyond all averages and can be up to 10p more a litre. If this was introduced for electric cars, then who knows how much the cost per kWh would become.
Do you think that this regulation was needed? Would differential pricing affect your choice to buy an electric car? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Rip off Britain at it’s best…
Fancy being ripped off – Wait until the battery needs replacing later, then you will be ripped off…
Batteries now out last internal combustion engines. You are on the wrong track mate.
Really? Most manufacturers anticipate 5 -8 yr or 100,000 mile lifespan of the batteries. I think you’ll find a combustion engine lasts a bit longer than that
That’s straight up BS – if nothing else the *warranty* on my EVs battery is 8 years, unlimited mileage. They still hold 95%+ of their charge after 250K mikes.
You accuse others of BS? Sorry, that 95% is just not correct. The tests on the Leaf Mk II battery pack showed that they lose 15% of capacity in the first year, and about 7.5% per year thereafter. Google it. Every charge/discharge cycle makes it a tiny amount harder to charge the next time because of the physics and chemistry of the migration of lithium ions between anode and cathode. That’s why Nissan has introduced ‘remanufactured’ batteries for Leaf owners that cost £1,500 instead of £4,500 – there is a BIG problem with what are known as ‘capacity fade’ – you can’t store as much – and ‘power fade’ – you can’t discharge it as quickly as you would like when accelerating. The batteries do indeed have warranties of 5 to 8 years, depending on the car manufacturer, and you can switch out any cells that fail, but would you buy a 4-year-old EV knowing that you will reasonably soon have to cough up £4k-£5k for a new battery system?
No, 5 to 8 years is the warranty period they will last a lot longer than that. There is a taxi firm somewhere down south that have several EV taxis that have covered 250000 miles and more. Have you seen the replacement cost of an ICE these days.
“Some taxi firm somewhere”? Begs the question , does a charge last long enough for the driver to complete his 8, 10, 12 hour shift? and as lots of the taxis are “rented” from another driver, once one driver has finished and a second driver looks to use the car.. what can he do but stand around and wait for the recharge.. earning nothing. Not aprobelm with a good old diesel taxi!
A battery lasts about 6 years. Combustion engine lasts 300,000 miles or more when looked after, you do the maths.
My internal combustion engine is going strong at 192 000 miles – what batteries will last this long?
Less than 10% degradation after 160,000 miles https://electrek.co/2018/04/14/tesla-battery-degradation-data/ The powertrain is more likely to die before the battery if anything, and the battery maintain 70% capacity after 1,000,000 miles https://electrek.co/2015/11/04/musk-we-want-drive-units-that-just-never-wear-out-tesla-targets-powertrains-lasting-1-million-miles/
So, now the question is, what ICE will last that long?
I drive one and the one before was on 175,000 miles when I up graded to the T5. Wonderful motor cars are Volvo. I regularly drive from the South West of England to the north of Scotland and enjoy every minute of the trip.
My previous Volvo, a 2.3litre 940, had done 465,000 before it was totalled. I had already replaced the head gasket at 360,000. I probably could have kept it going with the HG replacement every 250k! The
53 V70 auto, at 235,000, is going fine. Volvo certainly give you their moneys worth!
I knew a taxi driver with an old Merc that lasted way beyond that. Ironically it was the electronic fuel injection system that failed first but Bosch replaced it for free when they heard how many miles he’d done as they reckoned it should outlast the engine.
Tesla maybe if you can afford one. Having seen numerous problems with electrics in Fords or any French car, in fact anything French and electrical, I’d seriously question this for other manufacturers trying to build for the masses.
Join the discussion…
All diesels if looked after !
A Saab. 175,000 on a diesel engine. Recent MOT gave no emissions certificate because the figures were “too low to record”. And I believe that it is in fact a Fiat-sourced engine (1.9 turbodiesel…)
Telsa have been found out for telling little white fibs about their cars range and battery life.
It seems EV manufacturers are a little frugal with the truth
Nissan have admitted telling porkies as well… The Leaf? Leaf it alone for the health of your wallet.
I would take anything eminating from Tesla and Musk with a pinch of salt… Its not as though they have any personal interests in EV’s do they!
Not without a charge they won’t ….
300,000 miles and 100 years I’d looked after I do not think so!
Yeah, in 6-8 years the earliest, cause everyone keeps their car for more than 3 years nowadays right? Unless Maggie comes back from the dead and then we all end up in Morris Minor for the rest of our lives, spit and polish.
I like the idea of driving an EV, but believe there is still much to do in the longevity of battery technology, degradation, charging speeds and overall range anxiety. Even Nissan have confessed they have big issues to solve, huge problems with their 30KwH Leaf batteries! https://insideevs.com/nissan-issues-statement-on-leaf-30-kwh-battery-degradation/
You know the batteries on modern EVs still hold 95%+ of their charge after 250K miles right? They don’t need replacing…
I don’t know where you get your figures from ? I work for JLR there EV battery’s are better than Tessla use and the battery is now where near as affichent as 95% after 250K miles
“The data clearly shows that for the first 50,000 miles (100,000 km), most Tesla battery packs will lose about 5% of their capacity, but after the 50,000-mile mark, the capacity levels off and it looks like it could be difficult to make a pack degrade by another 5%.
The trend line currently suggests that the average battery pack could cycle through over 300,000 km (186,000) before coming close to 90% capacity.”
This Electrek lot.. looking at their web site they are heavily promoting electric cars and thier manufacturers.. hardly an unbiased company / web site then?
See the links to insideevs elsewhere in this thread. Nissan’s battery capacity and longevity in the Leaf are much less than Tesla’s: 15% loss of capacity after one year, 7.5% annually thereafter.
If charging from midnight, this rules out power supplied from solar sources unless stored… this being the case how can electric cars be Low co2 and contribute to the road to zero emissions?
Solar isn’t the only source of low co2 power generation.
That’s right, nuclear or wind power etc but during the night in lower demand times, doesn’t most of the power come from power stations in the U.K.? the percentages would be good to see
Right at the moment the overnight electricity is mostly coming from nuclear and gas fired power stations. If the demand was increased quickly, it would be taken up by more gas fired generation. If you want to see minute by minute data on what’s keeping the lights on (and charging electric cars!) go to
Of course we are not exactly in a normal weather pattern at the moment – there’s been very little wind generation during this hot spell. Looking ahead, though, by 2030 a much higher proportion of electricity will be generated from low carbon sources. However, there will always be times when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.
When the next powerstation come on line, the wonderful government have managed to ensure that they will INCREASE the price per unit of electricity.
Economics of the mad house, using precious gas reserves to generate electricity.
Andrew.. so climate chnage will make us all warmer and kill of electric vehicles…. Bonus!!!
At lower demand, only tier one powerstations are active, this leaves nuclear, gas and DRACS (which has switched from Coal to BIOMASS) their BIOMASS is a posh name for wood pellets from a sustainable forest.
I take it this sustainable forest is near to Drax ? I do hope they are not hauling wood over from Norway or some such place as the carbon saved will be trebled in transport costs
haha! Not Norway- I believe it actually comes from North America!!
correct, it comes from an ancient forest in Carolina, Drax carbon footprint on biomass, if you add in transport, felling, loss of carbon sink is about double what it was when using the coal mined on its doorstep..
Methinks I have seen Stobart trucks filling up in scotland and driving down the M1….. and I doubt the atric hauling the stuff was run on electricity
But biomass has been proven to produce more CO2 than the coal it replaced….
It’s all here – though not that easy to work out. The lower graph shows the different supplies at different times of day. Demand is low in the summer months as you can see if you look at the 12-month chart.
Also, I think I recall that the early evening peak demand that they worry about is more of a thing in the colder months. Currently, the afternoon peak, I guess, is office air conditioning, which handily coincides with the peaks of solar supply.
No but it’s the one most people think about when the question is raised.
Ya, I have a dirty big windmill on my roof and have a river at the back of my garden to offset it….NOT
It’s only fair that electric cars cost the same to run as internal combustion cars, of course when that happens the public won’t want to change. Very few are going to choose to have a car that isn’t cheaper to run and comes with restricted use!
Why is is only fair that they cost the same to run? The whole point is that the difference in running costs is supposed to encourage changing.
Yes but don’t forget, the treasury has got to get the money back from some where, obviously as usual with our government’s short sightedness, where are they going to get the money back from the loss of all the fuel duty if every one goes electric?
Join the discussion…
Join the discussion…Well said Keith Bestwick! It is pretty obvious that the treasury will have a shortfall in fuel duty develop with the take up of electric cars on a bigger and bigger scale, and they will want to recoup revenue to replace this loss. This factor is a major point that has been overlooked or ignored by most commentators on the ‘electric car revolution’ and most sensible folk have realised this for a number of years.
Zero emission to drive, but not zero emission to charge, & what about the battery production & decommission? Britain still persist in blaming vehicles for the emission levels when they only play a small part (<20%), but the motorist is an easy target to blame & use as a cash cow. I'll stick with my petrol vehicles.
Internal Combustion engined cars stink, vibrate, come with plenty of engine lag, switch gears randomly (ancient stuff), make mostly horrid noises and lack remote climate control and other telematic services that cannot realistically operate in a i.c. vehicle.
Diesel cars are technically illegal, they do not conform to most regulations in real life, standing behind them stinks like rotten eggs, their engine behavior is appalling by any petrol head standards and when idling they sound like a tuk-tuk. They do rev up to 5,000 rpm at best.
All petrol cars are now turbocharged without any of the puritan high revving N/A engine feel, all 20y old sports cars that have n.a engines have appreciated by 20-50% in the last 5 years as people realize the I.C. industry is moving backwards to the turbocharged 80s to make vehicles less polluting.
You stick to petrol cars, very factual.
A true petrol head turned E.V. user. due to the above world wide scamming going on.
And EV isn’t scamming? Taxpayer billions worldwide for something that cannot be rolled out on a massive scale. They can be made, (with fossil fuel), but they can’t run without the secondary power produced from a primary resource.
“Diesel cars are technically illegal” Really?
“they do not conform to most regulations in real life” Regulations are mainly “finger in the wind” targets produced on flimsy science, in pursuit of the UN agenda on “climate change”, promoted by global financiers who make a killing from subsidies and the UN CDM mechanism.
You can make power from renewables, a solar panel array on every house along with a charge point would be an easy solution. Mix in nuclear, wind, wave etc and you don’t need a primary fuel source. Petrol and diesel need polluting fuel burning to be made and then emit pollution when burned
Hydrogen is the answer to it all.
Making hydrogen uses vast amounts of electricity or an alternative route via conversion from hydrocarbon feedstock thus creating pollution, so its not necessarily a suitable alternative. Hydrogen is highly explosive, so there are safety issues as well.Join the discussion…
So why isn’t government pushing that technology?
And what about LPG – been around more than a decade, yet only a handful of cars run on LPG!
I am really suspicious of the Cons’ agenda regarding EVs!
Rubbish it’s a non goer how many hydrogen pumping station have been installed in recent years?
But the point is that hydrogen should be something that’s invested in. So what if it takes however much electricity to produce hydrogen – see it as another, much more practical, way of storing and transmitting electrical energy. More practical, that is, than heavy batteries made from rare materials which need to be subjected to long periods of charging from what are effectively domestic power supplies.
And of course everybody lives in a nice semi-detached house don’t they….oh wait, there are plenty of flats in this country, what do they do?
Some people can’t park near their home either due to layout or vehicle overcrowding.
long exstention leads, which will mean volts drop in lenght of cable so car will take years to charge. unless you use cables with cores the size of scaffold bars.
Charge their EV once per week, whilst doing the shopping. Lidl already have rapid chargers.
Millions of houses in the UK are not suitable for fitting solar panels, Mine for example does not have a large enough roof area, many are council houses which are not allowed to affix panels. More do not even face the the right way being on a East West axis so do not receive enough sunlight to make them viable. More important can you charge your car without breaking the law, i.e. laying a cable across a footpath or even across a road. No the electric car is just another pipe dream to placate the ‘green’ public as was the diesel as supported by various governments. I’ll stick with a proper engine that doesn’t depend on a nuclear plant to keep it green!
Must applaud your common sense – virtually everything we hear about cars and pollution seems to be pure pie in the sky
A bit like our power stations !!!!
And for those who do not live in a house?
I think you mean ‘lunar panels’. Not much sun at night…
Are you for real? I don’t know what vehicles you are driving or have been standing behind but today’s vehicles are a huge improvement on those of b-bygone days and I’ve never come across any that you describe and I’ve been in the motor trade for 40+ years. You keep driving your electric vehicles with their expensive high polluting batteries and the generated electricity they need, as well as the energy used to create them. By their very nature, Diesels don’t need to rev to 5000rpm as they produce their maximum power way below that.
In a really narrow torque band which requires a gear box, which brings with it associated transfer losses. EVs are roughly 3 times as energy efficient as internal combustion engine vehicles. The UK’s carbon intensity is about 250 g/kWh generated, an average EV uses about 200 Wh / 100km including grid losses, so generates 50g / km. Diesel can’t get near that without at least hybridisation which increases component count, weight and complexity.
Even taking into account the carbon intensity of battery production, the lifetime carbon output is still well below a petrol or diesel vehicle.
Give me the money and I will get an EV tomorrow. You do realise EV’s are very very expensive. Never purchased a brand new car, most I have spent on a 1 yr old car is £18k and that was 13 years ago. A leaf which on the 2nd hand market would be about £13k will only do 50 to 80 miles on one charge. That’s not a ev I can live with. I need an EV for about £20k that will do min 350miles on a charge. Remember batteries should be charged to 80% and that means 200miles effective range. Remeber an EV battery should not go below 20% so your down to 180 miles. I can just about live with 180miles, but it would be inconvenient every month or so. Summary EV’s are not ready for the mainstream 2nd hand market, which is where most of us low life deisal drivers are.
I got my 1 year old for 14k with 0% apr and 2 free services. You can pick up older ones for under 5k if you look around.
Used EVs can be had for £6k. If you do a fair amount of daily miles you will be saving over £1200 per year. Sure it won’t do your annual trip to south of France very conviently but may be you’ll save so much, your borrow or rent for that trip? I dare you you to test drive *any* EV, because they are a joy to drive verses any combustion engined car. Trust me, please try one. I’ve not bought fuel for 2.5 years (yet driven 40,000 miles on electric), boy it feels good (less servicing and maintenance too)!
The batteries don’t last as long as an internal combustion engine and are hideously expensive to replace when they do expire. The only reason we don’t hear much about it yet is that there aren’t many old electric cars on the roads yet. Never mind the environmental catastrophe taking place in China where most of the metal ores for the batteries are mined – and the amount of transportation of the ores / refined metals / manufactured batteries (a Prius battery travels 40000miles in various forms even before it gets into a car). Range anxiety makes EVs impractical unless you can do all your driving in urban areas where you’re always near a charging point – and you have the time to wait for a charge-up.
Quick bit of maths: let’s suppose an EV uses 30kW of power and travels 100 miles in 2 hours before needing a recharge (keeping it simple) – so that’s 60kWh of electricity (assuming 100% efficiency – which is untrue), costing approx £8.40 (@14p/kWh). My diesel covering the same 100 miles in 2 hours uses approximately 1.5 gallons of fuel (and that’s pessimistic – I’ve averaged over 70mpg for the past four months in my 10-year-old car, that I’ve had since new) that currently costs me approx £8.70 (having increased dramatically in recent months). Only the OPEC cartel forcing up fuel prices has made my diesel more expensive to fuel than an EV – and I can travel upto 800 miles before I need to refuel – and I won’t have to spend several thousand pounds on a new battery. i’ll stick to my diesel.
How odd, I can’t find the turbo on my new V8 Mustang 😀 Doesn’t stink either.
Sorry mate you have lost the plot
Be like the Germans, if your diesel car is illegal just cheat !
Harry so diesel cars are illegal, does that make trains lorries ships buses illegal too
What a load of rubbish, has the heat got to you are you just THICK!!
All electric vehicles appear to be powered directly from the drivers sense of smugness, is this correct? It would appear that yours is no different. Are you aware how the cobalt in your car is mined? 60% of the worlds cobalt comes from that law abiding, human rights bastion that is the Democratic republic of Congo. Its rapidly becoming a scare element (cobalt) and as such, those who own the mines don’t care what they do to get it, just how much they get paid for it. They use children to mine it, by hand!
Still, I am sure you won’t be able to hear their cries from inside your perfectly sealed, hypocrite wagon.
Currently the government makes approximately £28 billion per year on duties on petrol and diesel. When we all switch to electric vehicles overnight, where will this money come from? Tax on electricity? Or more likely a tax on actual road use, pay per mile.
Add to this that the government also predicts it will cost £30 billion to install enough charging points (which the tax payer will have to cough up).
The power networks are struggling to meet demand at present, so what will millions of EV do to that? Hey boys, lets stoke up the fossil fuel generators!
Yes, we need to move away from fossil fuels, but simply shifting the pollution from the tailpipe to the power plants is not the answer.
I’m very smug, with my two EVs and my solar panels. 🙂
Doesnt seem a lot of people think your comment is valid mate….. Perhaps that smell is your socks.!
Forgive them Harry lol #afellowexpetrolhead
Too true and I wil stick with my dirty gungy diesel land rover
I will second that !
I bet FORD will be laughing in his grave at all this BS…
Wind and solar is much less filthy than dirty oil extraction , processing and transport.
Hydrogen production = Zinc + HCL results in Zinc chloride and Hydrogen gas released. Using Sea water and electricity could make the HCL with a side issue of bromide and other elements. Seems whichever method we use, for the planet’s sake, no one is thinking of working smarter and the reduced need to travel over huge distances just to talk or sit at a desk for hours. Time to start working from home?
If I wanted an electric car I’d go to a fairground and get in a dodgem
I like dodgems…
Or buy an old Milk Float. They used to charge up over night.
good top end spead too ASK ERNIE
If I wanted an electric car I’d go to the fairground and use a dodgem
Start charging at Midnight? Hmmm…clearly those who work shifts are facing some serious problems then. I have a shift where I’m on a 24 mile drive to work at 3am.. how much charge will a battery have in 3 hours? Another shift has me arriving home at 04.30am – how long will I have to charge before the smart system shuts off power to my car? Too many concerns to even consider switching to electric for me.
Midnight is a good time to charge, but what they are on about is avoiding the 16h-18h peak when millions of people get home from work and put the TV and the kettle on 🙂
If you can charge at home before 16h, it’s probably not a time when a premium price would apply.
A better “smarter” charging point might have these features:
1. Charge up immediately to an “emergency” minimum, e.g. to get to the nearest hospital, if the battery is flat.
2. Set a time and range for next intended use (a bit like setting the alarm clock on your phone) which could have days of the week and a repeating pattern. So the car will be available for your commute.
3. Then during hours where there is little demand,, do a full charge anyway.
Enough charge for your journey? What the heck are you going to do for power after you’ve been stuck in a moving jam for half an hour or more?
So _you’re_ the chap I keep seeing run out of petrol in every traffic jam I go through. Yes, a bit like a petrol car, you put in some extra for contingency, innit??
When an EV is stationary in a traffic jam it uses no energy. – only if you have the aircon on.
So you never use you’re EV after dark then?
They have radios and lights etc that dont use power… thats amazing!
Push!….. or fit some cycle pedals and a small generator.
fred flintstone had the best car went quicker when adiddas trainers were worn
what about stopping at a shop and leaving the engin running HA HA HA HA
3 hrs of charge will get you about 66 miles on a home socket. But, of course, just as in a petrol car you wouldn’t arrive home with an empty tank, neither would you arrive home with an empty battery. Living with an EV is a piece of cake.
Also you have to remember (as this article fails to mention) that people will NOT be charging their cars every day. Do you visit a petrol station every day? No. Of course not. If you have a car that can do 200+ miles, you only need to charge it weekly or thereabouts. Use a rapid charger at a supermarket or something if you need.
My dirty gungy diesel will do a thousand miles on one tank.
Blimey, I want one of those. A thousand miles??
My diesel ran for 400 miles on one tank and needed recharging about once every 3 weeks…. and your pathetic EV?
My diesel did 650 miles on one tank, cost £60 to fill (£40-50 of which was tax) and did a week and a half of commuting with it. My new leaf gets charged for free whilst I’m at work partly from the solar panels on the roof. I can do 2 or 3 commutes but I just keep topping it up when at work. its just a different way of refuelling. think of the transition from old nokia brick phones to smart phones. the battery only lasts a day as opposed to a week with the old phones but its a vastly superior phone. I am happy with my EV, and I’m more than happy for you to continue driving your ICE car if that’s what you like.
The biggest problem is actually the fact that the substations supplying your house are rated for between 1&2kW per house. They can take an overload but for a short period, and then they have to cool overnight. It won’t take many EVs charging at the same time, and we’re talking about mass EV uptake here, for the local substation and its associated switchgear and cables to suffer an overload for which they are not designed, hence why there is a push to smart charging. However, even with smart charging, you still risk that substation. The other problem is for around half the population an EV won’t be cost effective or convenient as they can’t charge on their own charger, and I very much doubt these people will make a special effort to go to a charging station a few times a month and sit there for an hour waiting to charge.
What happens to smart charge at home when you got solar pannles,will smart charge allow in day light?
Samart charging at home etc when you got solar pannles will it still apply.
If you have solar panels, add storage.
A ‘smart’ domestic charging point not only allows the authorities to restrict charging times, it also opens the door to applying VAT at 20% on any electricity used for driving. It may not be long before the treasury thinks of additional tax and duty charges too!
Don’t give them the idea Alan C AHHH to late they have read your idea. LOL
You don’t have to use the smart chargers, plug in with the ‘granny cable’ (a normal 3 pin socket) and you can charge, albeit at a slower rate, anytime you like and at your normal domestic rate.
It is already 20% at public Chargepoints!
Plan your journeys ahead and you will not have to fill up on motorways.
I never fill up on motorways or main routes, as the fuel is always far more expensive, I also very rarely use motorway services, as they are mostly rip-off. Much better to pop off the main route into a town or village and give your trade to some nice local businesses. And you get to know the country better that way too.
Basically another monumental knee jerk reaction from the government in relation to reducing carbon footprint and cleaning up air.
I’m all in favor of both (I’m still a climate skeptic but doesn’t hurt to keep things clean) but electric, with our current set up, which lets face isn’t going to change anytime soon to meet the needs of electric cars let alone increase in population and subsequent demands.
In the end whether we use electric of fossil fuel the government will still need to plug the tax gap that electric cars currently enjoy. So in the future electric cars will be as expensive as a fossil car is now.
The reality is that once combustion engines are outlawed in cities and built up areas (diesel first, then petrol), most vehicles on the road will become electric or hybrid. This is a massive problem for governments world-wide; tax revenue will be collected from alternate energy provisions, but what (I think) no-one really knows, is what the real environmental impact of such a switch-over would be. Does anyone know of any think-tank that is trying to establish such data? Would be really interesting and I wonder if the whole electric car/combustion engine thing will go full-circle…..
Its called “pay per mile” driving. Axe fuel duty and charge drivers based on mileage. Maybe 0.5p per mile for a car, 2p for a lorry. You pay monthly or when insurance is due. Easy and cheap to administer.
I knew this was coming, electric boxes will not work for years to come till they find cheaper longer lasting fuel ranges and other ways of charging such as Solar panels in car roofs.
Full shift to electric vans would melt Royal Mail’s London hub, MPs told. – https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/02/28/shift_to_electric_vehicles_wouldve_melted_royal_mails_substation_mps_told/
Ha Ha I knew this would happen
Battery powered cars are not a total solution to air quality issues
There will always be a place for cleaner internal combustion engines
Just knew it. Another faux pas from the government. Get people to believe they are getting a better deal and bingo they didn’t think it through. . Keep hold of your diesel and petrol cars folks as at least you can get fuel and go where and when you want, not tied to a charger waiting and waiting till the government tells you it’s good to go.
The UK is not very good at forward planning. At the moment the motorist is being hammered on all fronts, yet nothing is being done to make public transport more available (both supply and cost), so many have no option but to stick to the roads. The move towards EV is not being helped AT ALL. Those in Whitehall need to wake up, putting it mildly.
I wouldn’t touch an electric only car with a bargepole. They are (like other cars) expensive to buy, the batteries have unknown life and replacement cost, there is no apparent price control for charging, there are few charging points, and fuel prices are controlled by a government determined to maintain a society that requires people to travel and taxes them extortionately to do it. Charging from midnight will ensure that cars use the most polluting electricity that there is. How about switching off all government and civil service computers from 9pm to 8am and seeing what this will save? Our governments of all colours have neglected the electricity generation and infrastructure and are now determined that the motorist shall pay for it. I say put your act in order and then come back to us and tell us what to do.
They should switch the government off from 8am to 9pm, that would save us an absolute fortune. LOL
I’ve never believed anybody in the Civil Service is active between those hours anyway, try ringing them and see how long it takes for some a**e to pick up.
There are over 6000 charging points, not including your house (which is where most will charge if they can).
In 12 months time there will be more charge points than petrol pumps (8000).
Look at Zap Map or Plugshare websites/apps.
There will need to be owing to the frequent need to charge, and the time taken to do so, e/v,s are only for shopping trips.
Good grief. So many of you have no clue. Just come back from a family holiday in our ev. 1 stop for half an hour to refuel kids and to charge. Home charging at electric rate 12p for 5-6 miles. 150 miles on a charge. Car was £25k new which is well within the price bracket of many of the most popular new cars on UK roads. Car has lots of gadgets, is very fast and relaxing to drive. We charge mainly on solar at home. I also have a plug in hybrid. Stop quoting leaf battery degradation – nissans are notorious for it! Our Prius did over 170k miles with no noticeable reduction in battery capacity.
But I spend less than 5 minutes at a fuel pump!
My oh only visits a charger maybe <10 times a year for long trips. we have our personal “fuel pump” at home/work.
“government determined to maintain a society that requires people to travel and taxes them extortionately to do it”
Seriously? Rail and bus fares are free of VAT – technically ‘zero-rated’ or ‘outside the scope’. The operators pay VAT on their costs (including DERV), but they reclaim it each month or quarter. So public transport is VAT-free. They pay fuel duty (£600m for buses, and £10m for VED, while the railways pay a lower rate of fuel duty (about 11ppl) totalling about £70m for passenger services). But …
The government last year subbed the rail industry by £5 billion (yes, Billion, not Million). According to the RAC, support for local bus transport is about £2.7 bn. So, just explain that ‘taxes them extorionately’ comment again.
“The UK’s power network is already under pressure during its peak in demand which is between 4 pm and 6 pm, and the cause of further stress would be a surge in the number of electric cars being simultaneously charged.”
I think the only people to not recognise that this would happen was everyone but the government.
Forcing cars to home-charge only at night to avoid paying higher prices during the day is a total nonsense for those of us who have solar panels which, guess what, work only in the daytime. Any legislation must take this into account as there are more and more households installing solar panels for this purpose. Never mind the FIT payments which are ending soon, the saving for motorists who can charge up for free in this way is huge and will grow year on year.
If you have solar panels, add storage.
IIRC the FIT for new customers ends in April 2019, but not for existing customers.
It takes I have just read 30 minutes to 12 Hours to charge one of these cars, so even if you spark and fly (Splash and Dash) thats 30 mins once you are on a point but how long does the car in front need, this is going to cause plug rage you could be there hours and hours for a 30 min charge that will get you to the next plug.
Different plugs… You need special chargers to deliver far higher current for quick charging… but if there aren’t enough chargers then yes there could well be plug rage.
I agree its never going to happen successfully, and what about the roads being littered with vehicles that don’t make it to the next charger.
How long will it be before the AA, RAC and Green Flag surcharge EV owners for towing to a charge point?
The great not talked about buy the electric car makers. The battery in electric cars does not last long most have a spec of 10 years, but earlier ones do far less, plus to get to 10 years you will have battery cell replacement along the way an bills for that, it all starts to get expensive, and when the whole battery is replaced, the bill is going to be more than £6K, who would buy a second hand car with a further £6K to 10K bill just around the corner
Yep. Not me. Not buying a new one either as it’s bound to depreciate massively as it approaches time to replace the battery pack.
Not true – the car will fall apart before the (very precisely controlled) battery fails. Should be good for a few million miles. Most people replace a car every 5 years so this isn’t an issue.
Just wait and see….
“The data clearly shows that for the first 50,000 miles (100,000 km), most Tesla battery packs will lose about 5% of their capacity, but after the 50,000-mile mark, the capacity levels off and it looks like it could be difficult to make a pack degrade by another 5%.
The trend line currently suggests that the average battery pack could cycle through over 300,000 km (186,000) before coming close to 90% capacity.”
I’ve a good idea, lets move all those drivers with Euro6 compliant engines to the national grid, where we can use up all the dirty coal and heavy oil left over from refining, to the 30% efficient generators. Problem solved
The UK uses virtually no coal power now, and the last oil fired station (Fawley) closed years ago. You’re out of touch mate.
Want to know where your power comes from? gridwatch.templar.co.uk updated every 5 mins
I just wonder what will the effect be on older/younger people that cant afford to but a electric car will this be a way to keep only the rich on the road
With congestion charges and now extra charges for driving a diesel in cities, doesn’t it show they are already trying to make the roads just for the well off?
They need to get trains and buses to ALL towns and villages some don’t get even a yearly service
I remember a thing called the “Economy 7 tariff” back in the 1970s where my Mum would have the washing machine on a timer and do the washing during the night and our storage heaters would heat up ready for the next day.
But anyway, if we’re really going electric the cars themselves should be covered with Solar panels, so they would charge themselves when parked anywhere outside and the charging points at the service stations should be supplied by Solar and wind power set up within the grounds of the stations. i.e. covered parking which is actually Solar panelling. Catch the rain coming off them for the car wash etc. etc.
Most EV drivers (me included) use Economy 7. Thats why recharging my car for 200 miles costs under a fiver. Solar panels aren’t efficient enough and you need a lot larger size than a car roof. In perfect conditions you’d add 3 miles a day from one 330w panel. Pretty useless.
As we move to more renewable energy, driving a car will get cleaner – but EVs are, even now, far, FAR cleaner than a fossil car.
Obviously a web site called Petrol Prices will not want to run any positive stories on electric vehicles since they will no longer be required when we are all paying roughly the same. Lots of issues I agree but we need to start to move and get our heads out of the sand!
You would still want to know the location of the cheapest fuel source whether it’s petrol, diesel, hydrogen, gas or electric.
Government will not want to lose fuel tax if there is a mass move to electric vehicles so be prepared for no savings.
‘Electric car drivers to face same fuel price rip off as combustion.’ Wasn’t that always going to be the case? Surely no-one in their right mind would even imagine the Government would let a tax revenue disappear.
How is it the Government can get away with outright fraud . They keep changing the law by using underhanded tactics once they have persuaded enough folks to purchase electric vehicles likewise a few years ago it was buy Diesel now Diesel is a dirty word. Only Government can get away with it. There is no lower form of life than a politician
Hydrogen is the answer, but there’s no money in it for the Government or more precise the Petrol company’s
Someone has to produce the hydrogen so why not petrol companies as demand for oil drops – bet you Shell, BP etc have already invested in battery manufacturers, hydrogen producers etc – and if it’s a commodity it can be taxed 😉
BP has just bought up the UK’s biggest provider of public charging points (6,500 of them) https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jun/28/bp-buys-uks-biggest-electric-car-charger-network-for-130m
No it isn’t. You know it uses 3x the amount of electricity to produce via electrolysis (or worse, using natural gas) and all the additional steps (compressing to 800 bar!) loses a lot of energy. Google it!
Just take your electricity and stuff it in a battery using the existing grid system.
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Success Stories
South Korea to Buy 1,000 Hydrogen-Powered Buses
and from Toyota
There are plenty more positive articles on Hydrogen power ie: google
It may be a long way off but I also believe it will be the fuel we end up using one day ( if nothing else turns up)
No reason why the petrol/Diesel companies will not get involved, look at the move by BP to buy into the recharge supply network last week (can’t remember the company name off hand) They will all be pushing for a stake in the transport fuel market, no matter what it is, Hydrogen, electricity or whatever. They will see the writting on the wall for oil as a fuel and the damage to their profits its demise will cause as clearly we do.
As my previous comment hydrogen fuel cell technology is the way forward. Refuelling facilities can be installed at existing fuel stations and the only emission is water. No expensive infrastructure is required. Safety precautions will be needed due to refuelling with gas under pressure.
As now happens with LPG-fuelled vehicles.
Mate, you need to learn some physics. Producing hydrogen for cars uses 3x the amount of electricity that it takes to drive a battery car. You need an electrolyser (£1m each and can serve just 16 cars a day) and all the pumps etc.
Stop watching Top Gear and do your homework.
95% of the hydrogen on the market is produced by processing natural gas, a process which emits huge amounts of carbon dioxide. You’d need massive amounts of new infrastructure to actually produce the hydrogen in the first place. Meanwhile we already have infrastructure for distributing electricity everywhere.
You need electricity to produce hydrogen!
Only emission is water ?
Great – there aren’t many substances that are worse for the greenhouse effect than CO2 but one of them is water vapour.
Hydrogen is very corrosive thus difficult to transfer by pipeline which would need to be the case as transporting huge quantities by tanker, in the same way fossil fuels are, would be very dangerous. That`s not to say that the tech is not moving forward to overcome these issues, just that it will take many decades to do so. And – yes, water, particularly as a vapour is a greenhouse gas!
Again there’s the EV proponents who think that the only answer is battery technology, and that hydrogen is baaaad. Hydrogen has its flaws, yet we are still seeing new ways of storing hydrogen which means it doesn’t require huge pressure or low temperature, and would make it far easier to transport and distribute. For the time being it’s mainly high pressure hydrogen, and whilst present hydrogen is produced from natural gas, the whole idea of the hydrogen economy is based on renewable energy being used to produce it. As for the infrastructure being present for charging EVs, no, it’s not. Home charging (if you’re the 50% of the population who can have a home charger), is destined to failure as the substations are not designed for the additional loads placed upon them by the charging (whether smart charge or not). Additionally, hydrogen is already transported by pipelines and by tanker every single day, and the likes of National Grid are already planning on transporting hydrogen.
Not really a problem solar panels on your roof and batteries for storage.
Never mind the ripoff motorway and garage prices. As revenue to the treasury starts to fall, (as it will) VED for electric vehicles will also gradually be introduced. Loss of revenue on carbon fuels will also need to be replaced with a levy on electric. Fuel duty and VED is a huge revenue booster for Government they are not going to reduce that tax take. Electric vehicles apart from being expensive, will be expensive to run and expensive to maintain. Probably more expensive that the vehicles we use today
Welcome to that wonderful world of decades ago (but still around) – Economy 7 tariffs !!
There lies the argument for hydrogen fuel cells. Surplus and off peak power could be used to extract hydrogen from water which should be used to fill up cars in the current petrol/diesel model. The sole exhaust would be water vapour.
Sadly the closest hydrogen fill up for me is in Beaconsfield, a long way for a top up from NW London. I would welcome some information on the possibility of fuel garages generating their hydrogen on site.
Too inefficient and expensive. That Beaconsfield site cost £1m and can only fill 16 cars a day. Better to use electricity, you go 3x the distance with a battery car for the same amount of electricity input than you’d get with a H2 car.
Hydrogen is a scam, pure and simple.
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Success Stories
South Korea to Buy 1,000 Hydrogen-Powered Buses
and from Toyota
There are plenty more positive articles on Hydrogen power if you do some research, ie: google
Ken, I’ve done a LOT of research of this. You cannot change the laws of physics. Why would you waste 66% of the input energy when you can stick that same electricity directly into a battery and cut out all the intermediate steps that kill efficiency?
There are plenty of H2 vs BEV data on the internet – suggest you look it up.
Hydrogen is the fuel of the future – that’s been said for the past 50 years…
So South Korea have got 1000 H2 buses – China rolled out 1000 battery buses A WEEK (don’t believe me – look it up)
Toyota have their head in the sand, don’t believe anything they say. Being a Japanese company, they went all in on H2 but have realized it’s the wrong path (Mercedes/VW etc have pulled out of doing H2) and being Japanese they cannot admit they got it wrong until a change of leadership happens.
How do propose people without recourse to personal chargers charge their cars? How will they get by without a charger? This is why H2 is necessary as there will be plenty of people who won’t be able to use a battery EV, but don’t let that get in the way of your blinkered view. Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Ford, GM and Audi are all still developing H2 fuel cells. Efficiency is a red herring when you consider that you’re paying for the hydrogen and it’s being made from renewables. If you think people will spend hours at a charging station just for another 200 miles, you’re dreaming. Just because a Battery EV suits you, does not mean it suits others. Unless an EV can be charged in less than 10 minutes, for a huge section of the community, they just won’t be any good.
What happened to that guy who was setting up solar charge points at service stations? They were going to be free!!
So how would that work if you have a low or flat battery and need to charge it up to go out again in the evening?
Do you drive home with an almost empty fuel tank? No. You’d go fill it up.
With an EV you can fill up at home, cheaply. Do it overnight when you’re asleep.
another government con they got us to buy diesel car and then condemned them now its electric cars if you can only charge your car after midnight that stupid , and the electric car is not worth having, the government needs to make up its mind does it want a clean environment or not, or is it just another RipOff
Our government has no clue. With their current policies they are ust shifting issues around without resolving any. We need more power being generated (how?) ,more charging points and quicker charging. Have they consider the chargers that are being installed in the roads? This would mean cars were charged as they were driving? As for the pricing – looks like another diesel gate – give incentives to drive electric then shaft you for the privilege. There are a lot of issues that need to be fixed in a cross party kind of way. This is not a political issue it’s a country issue!!
How about going back to Trolly Buses and Trams both run on electricity great for City’s and large Towns
Having been at first a sceptic and then a user of a PHEV and now a convert to electric powered cars in towns I’m not sure all-electric cars/vans will ever be a viable long distance/duration option they have to spend too much time tethered to the charge-point. Hybrids, whether petrol/diesel/hydrogen/lpg/bio-fuel will surely develop to the extent that very low emissions are achievable (and actually achieved in the real world) without the any massive (expensive)change to the well-established infrastructure or indeed the motorist tax regime other than fine tuning (or there’s toll charging).
The downside of electric cars is so large that it makes me wonder why we are pursuing this method of powering vehicles. I guess it’s a quick and dirty way of providing the infrastructure for refuelling. “Here’s five hundred quid get a charging point installed”.
Unfortunately, for millions of people living in homes without a garage this means trailing leads across the pavement …..mmmm, then we’ll have H&S people telling us we can’t do that because it represents a trip hazard.
The entire issue has just not been thought through properly ……there’s a surprise!!
Why hasn’t the Government invested in giving assistance to the development of infrastructure for the expansion of hydrogen powered cars? All that comes out of the exhaust pipe is water. There are existing filling stations that could have one pump converted to deliver hydrogen which could be generated on site. As demand increased you just convert another pump and so on.
I know there may be issues with materials for on site production of hydrogen but rather this than all of the none sense with capability to produce sufficient electricity at times when it’s convenient to the end user.
The Mayor of London thinks he can solve everyone’s problems by putting a charging point at each lamp post. Quite apart from ignoring electricity production capacity, has he ever walked down a street of terraced properties and seen how many cars are parked overnight?? Idiot!!
Yes All electric cars should pay a full road fund licence just like combustion cars, how else do they get to where they are going?? In mid air until we get nuclear powered vehicles as which can float inm the air then all vehicles have to use a road, and roads have to be paid for by everybody using them, hence road fund licence. Why should conbustion users subsidise electric users whom still require a road to use their venhicles. Another ill- thought out rip-off dreamed up by supersilious politicians and DVLA .
Problem is a certain prudent chancellor changed the road fund license to be based on CO2 emissions to encourage a reduction in greenhouse gases…causing people to buy more diesels…and then with the worries about NOx they push people towards electric…but we don’t have the supply capacity or infrastructure to cope… 🙁 You’re right though, the road fund should be charged on electric cars and used to fund filling potholes etc and building out the electrical delivery infrastructure.
Local councils are responsible for road maintenance and potholes.
The original ‘Road Fund’ ended in the 1930’s and eventually scrapped in the 50’s.
Why not have removab me batteries, which can be exchamged? Automated mechanical handling. They already have this in India for tuktuks.
“However, a new law under the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018 that was passed last week, it will be mandatory for anyone installing an electric charge point to have a smart charging capability, where a car plugged in at 5 pm would only start charging at midnight.”
I sincerely hope not! Some of us with our own Photovoltaics on our roofs might want to charge using our own ‘energy’. From what I’ve deduced the so called current smart meter systems cannot be fitted to PV generators. This is likely to discourage more PV owners to go into the grid and keep their pwn systems offgrid so denying everyone and lowering the growing non fossil fuel input as a whole. Some how I suspect another own goal here. I was thinking of going electric soon being a bit of a greeny but why should I be prevented from using what I generate!! I agree infrastructure issues lie ahead but why yet again penalise those that have already set a positive trend to help save the planet!
If you’re using your PV to charge your car then you’re either drawing more from the grid for your normal usage or not feeding your surplus into the grid so it makes no difference to the supply issues.
i run my car on biodiesel, from waste oil, please check the emissions, hardly any, and using a waste that would goto landfill.
So many ill-informed comments on here (from a poorly written article). You need to understand how the electricity system works.
Most drivers who can already charge off peak, from 12:30am to 7:30am. The UK burns almost no coal for electricity these days, but even if we did, EVs are still far, far cleaner. Remember that oil refinaries use a lot of electricity. 1 gallon of petrol will take 8kwh (about 30 miles in an EV) to make.
So obviously EVs win hands down every time.
No, batteries don’t need replacing – EVER – and yes once at end of life they are re-used until they’re finished, where 95% of the raw materials are recovered – they’re worth a lot of money. You can re use them to make more batteries.
The World Economic Forum disagrees.
And what happens to those batteries at end of life? And what about the dangerous rare materials they use to make them?
They firstly get re-used in energy storage systems (check out Pivot Power, and what Renault/Nissan and BMW are doing). Just because they may not be any use in a car (which needs high output) means they are still fine for low demand systems.
Once they’re totally done with, firms such as Umicore recycle them and retain 95% of the materials which can be re-made into batteries. This is already happening for your mobile phone batteries etc.
“batteries don’t need replacing – EVER”?? That’s presumably if you only drive low mileage each year and restrict your charge cycles?
It’s the local substations which might be the limiting point with EVs. They’re not designed for high loads overnight and are only rated for 1-2kW per house during the day. So unless the UK spends billions upgrading the networks, the Battery EV isn’t the answer.
Sorry but I don’t see any rip-off. It’s the law of supply and demand. Someone has to pay for the electricity supply, upgrading the distribution network, and building and maintaining the charge points. If you need to refuel/recharge at motorway services you’re always going to have to pay more as a captive market just like paying high food/drink prices in amusement parks or paying for the convenience of taking your own money out of your own account at an ATM. The electric costs are cheap anyway compared to petrol/diesel (unless gov decides to whack duty on the massively inflate the price as they have for petrol and diesel).
To me it makes absolute sense to try and smooth demand or we’ll have brownouts at peak times – prices are so cheap anyway that you can’t really reward people for playing nicely so the only alternative is to apply the stick to persuade them. It doesn’t put me off getting an electric car as until battery technology improves yet further (so I can make a 300 mile journey without recharging or paying through the nose for a Tesla) there’s no way I’m getting one and as for hybrids, apart from being expensive, they’re rubbish for long distance as the combustion engine tends to be smaller meaning you have to work it harder not to mention burning extra fuel to lug the extra weight of the electric motor and batteries around, and you have to get used to the different brake feel if it uses KERS to recharge the batteries.