Electric car chargers could be switched off remotely or turned down by energy companies if owners refuse to use them at off-peak times. UK Power Networks, which delivers electricity to 18 million people in London, the southeast and the east of England, is calling for the right to remotely control vehicle charging as a “last resort” to prevent power cuts. Forecasts suggest that electric vehicles could increase peak demand far beyond the level that existing power stations can generate and cable networks can transmit. To tackle the problem the industry and government plan to encourage “smart charging”, whereby households agree to allow their vehicles to charge automatically at off-peak times when the system can cope. Suleman Alli, director of safety and strategy at UK Power Networks, said he hoped that pricing tariffs would persuade people to charge cars at off-peak times only, but that the company needed the powers to intervene if they did not. “One of our key roles is to keep the lights on,” he said. “If we start to see uncoordinated or uncontrolled charging, that may jeopardise the network security and safety. We need to be able to step in and manage it.” Last week National Grid estimated that unmanaged electric car charging could add 18 gigawatts to peak demand by 2050, equivalent to the power output of six big new nuclear plants similar to Hinkley Point C. Smart charging could reduce this extra demand to six gigawatts, it said.
Times 18th July 2017 read more »
The car maker Volvo has shed its reputation for safe but rather boring models – sledges rather than sleek runabouts – as it takes a decisive step towards electric cars. The Sweden-based auto manufacturer – since 2010 owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding group – is set to become the first of the world’s major car makers to wave goodbye to the traditional internal combustion engine. Emissions from cars and trucks make up a large proportion of climate-changing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Scientists in the US calculate that cars and trucks account for up to 20% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate News Network 17th July 2017 read more »