A research by Transport for London has found that Britain could need up to 20 more nuclear power stations, should the electric car replace the petrol engine. An all-electric fleet would cause a ‘massive strain’ on the network owing to the amount of power required to recharge the vehicles’ batteries.
This comes a few days after the Department for Transport announced plans to boost electric vehicle use.
The Times reports that electric cars in London alone would need seven to eight gigawatt-hours per year, the same amount of power produced by two nuclear plants. Should low-emission fleets spread across the UK, 20 new stations would be needed.
Paul Blacklock, of Calor, which produces gas-based fuel for cars that is available at around 1,500 filling stations in the UK, has called for more investment in alternative fuels 'beyond electricity and hydrogen'.
He said: '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.
'The frustration is that the vehicle manufacturers are choosing not to make other options available to UK drivers,' he added.
DfT said motorway services and large fuel retailers could be required to provide electric charge points and hydrogen refuelling stations, while data showing their locations and availability would be open to the public.
Transport minister John Hayes concurred with the research findings, saying that that the country needs more than the 11,000 charging points currently available, to encourage more people to switch to electric cars.
AA president Edmund King lauded the government’s commitment to low-carbon technology, saying the investment in new charging points would help.