With the latest SMMT figures showing another increase in sales of electric vehicles, Dr Jon Hiscock at Fundamentals ltd explains why the rollout of public infrastructure needs to accelerate at the same pace as sales of greener transport models.

“In the race to decarbonise, any increase in electric vehicle (EV) usage is welcome. However, momentum risks being stalled by concerns over the public infrastructure available to support the shift to greener transport models.

There are already plans in place to increase the number of electric car chargers to 300,000 by 2030. Yet the UK’s ageing electricity network was never designed to handle these kinds of power flows.

For example, there is a significant lack of data in most substations. This means distribution companies are often operating in the dark and risk being unprepared for power surges caused by a high volume of EVs being charged.

The good news is that the technologies already exist to enable electricity grids to adapt to the new era of EVs. Machine learning technologies could be combined with data from sat navs to deliver hyper localised intelligence for network operators that can be used to manage capacity and demand.

What’s needed now are clear plans and urgent investment in the electricity network to support the volume of new EV cars making their way onto the road and maintain momentum.”