Figures question viability of all-electric cities

Figures question viability of all-electric cities
The power needed to keep an all-electric-car London moving would be five times the amount used to run its Underground system, experts warn.

New figures from Transport for London (TfL) examine the possibilities in switching all cars to ultra-low emissions models – the proposed strategy for getting polluting diesel and petrol cars off the road.

The findings suggest a huge additional power supply would be needed in order for big cities to support a complete switchover to rechargeable, plug-in cars.

The projections have led some experts to claim alternatives to a wholly electric future must be sought.

READ MORE: UK drivers catching on to alternatively fuelled vehicles

Analysis of the figures, as reported in The Times, claims a fleet of all green cars would require between seven and eight gigawatt hours per year, if London achieved maximum uptake.

This can be compared to the output of over two Hinkely Point style nuclear power stations needed to cater for London alone – and as many as 20 new plants up and down the country.

So far, the government has made it a requirement for the owners of larger petrol stations to build new charge points, as it looks to further the progress of plug-in take-up in the UK.

Last year it was reported that around 9,500 people in London alone die each year as a result of pollution. As part of Mayor Sadiq Kahn’s Clean Air Action plan, drivers of the most polluting cars will soon have to pay a £10 pollution charge to enter central London.

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While electric cars are widely seen as an answer there are staunch critics to the plans for widespread adoption, for whom the new TfL figures will offer vindication.

Calor, which produces LPG – the alternative gas currently available on around 1,500 UK forecourts – claims that vehicle manufacturers are choosing not to make other options available to the driving public.

Its head of strategy, Paul Blacklock, says: “Everyone is saying that we need to go to a wholly electric vehicle future, but they aren’t being honest about what the possible cost of this will be . . . We have to seek alternatives.”

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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