Frequently Asked Questions

Is there enough electricity in the grid to charge all the electric vehicles?

Yes! Well, according to The National Grid.

The highest peak of demand the National Grid has seen in recent years was way back in 2002. Since then, because of huge energy efficiency improvements across almost all home appliances from lightbulbs to fridge freezers and washing machines, plus increased numbers of solar panels, demand has actually fallen by around 16%. The National Grid states:

Even if the impossible happened and we all switched to EVs overnight, we think demand would only increase by around 10 per cent. So we’d still be using less power as a nation than we did in 2002 and this is well within the range of manageable load fluctuation.

So there you go! There's already enough capacity for EVs on the grid.

What's more important then, is not just the total capacity, but when people actually charge their cars. Traditional peak daily demand on the grid is between 6pm and 8pm, so if everyone tries to charge their vehicles at an existing point of high demand, it would create problems. This is why much work is already being done to ensure this isn't a problem, and to spread that demand to off-peak hours through smart-charging. More progressive technologies such as vehicle-to-grid are also allowing EVs to actually do the opposite - and supply electricity to the grid during peak demand.

You can read more about the demands of electric vehicles on the grid on the National Grid's website and there is extensive coverage of this topic on their annual Future Energy Scenarios publication.

Thumbnail photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash.

Article last updated on May 13th 2021.