UK’s National Grid has pledged support to the government to forward the 2040 ban on petrol and diesel car sales by a decade.
The electricity network is building super fast charging infrastructure at motorway services in order to accommodate the electric vehicle (EV) boom.
National Grid’s director of EVs, Graeme Cooper, told the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee: “From Grid’s point of view, 2030 or 2040 is far enough out [to act].”
According to Cooper, it will be no problem to back this ambitious target and handle the challenge of managing energy supplies, in the event of a total fossil fuel ban.
Cooper told the MPs that even with an estimated 9 million EVs on the road by 2030, there would be little need for new power stations, if the vehicles were charged at off-peak times.
The Energy Networks Association, which represents local power grids, did not go as far as National Grid’s backing for an earlier date but said: “If the target was brought forward, energy networks are ready to deliver.”
Cooper conceded that energy upgrades for chargers would be necessary, in light of the rural location of most services, MPs would therefore need “targeted investment”.
Ofgem said the cost of reinforcing electricity grids to cope with charging millions of cars should be largely paid for by EV owners, rather than all consumers via energy bills.
Environmentalists have proposed that the 2030 target will help the UK halve its oil imports and support the country reaching carbon targets.