The energy change challenge

Electric vehicles – how will we cope?

Recently two of us visited Brussels for the Smart Energy Demand Coalition (now SmartEn – Smart Energy for Europe) forum, held in one of the debating chambers of the EU parliament.

The most interesting thing we heard (from Simon Anderson in his closing remarks) was that 71 percent of car owners say that their next vehicle will be electrically powered. This presents a huge opportunity for the flexible energy market. As well, of course, as a huge challenge.

A challenge because the power required to power the average electric car for a year’s mileage is about the same as the kwh requirement for a medium sized household. ┬áMeeting generation and distribution system demand requirements will not be straightforward. But the opportunities are immense, too. Because it means that many households will instantly gain access to a battery with considerable storage potential for significant periods of the day. Whether the technical, operational and not least behavioural issues resulting from this “new age” of transport can be overcome and the benefits delivered is an interesting question that we believe may take some time to resolve. And further reinforces our perception of the scale and pace of change that the energy sector needs to deliver.