Car EV charging point advice

you are thinking of electric cars? And not about industrial and domestic use of electricity generated from non-fossil sources?

There is a certain amount of spare overnight capacity, when demand drops from daytime 40GW to nighttime 30GW.

Large storage batteries are not intended for cars, they are intended for storing cheap power for use at expensive times at a house, district or factory level.

The oil companies, however, are looking in particular at synthesised fuels and hydrogen cracking, which I suppose fits better into their integrated distribution and storage facilities.

The UK government cancelled research into carbon storage, which might be essential to hydrogen cracking from methane.

For fixed power storage of excess power generated by wind/tide/solar etc, what about flow batteries? The capacity is limited only by how big the storage tanks are. There are several examples in use now. e.g.

Generally these would be located close to the generation point.
Sponsored Links
If electric vehicles are even moderately popular it will become scarce and expensive.

While I basically agree with much of what has been said here, you might be interested to know that some of the oft-repeated claims are exaggerated. Specifically, a story that was widely circulated earlier this year (Times, Mail etc.) made the classic mistake of confusing gigawatts and gigawatt-hours per year, I.e. a factor of about 6000 out! see e.g.
let's suppose that the load was, on a sunny Sunday morning, 32GW

Let's suppose that the nuclear kettles were boiling out 8GW, the interconnects 3.5GW, Solar 8GW, wind 8GW, and coal 4GW.

All of these figures are currently realistic.

Let's suppose the hydro is ticking on and off, and pumped storage is absorbing slight oversupplies and pricing anomalies. Some combined gas is whirring at near-tickover.

You really can't say "you can rest assured that your "green" car is gas or coal powered." because very little of the energy is coming from gas or coal.
Are you having a problem understanding this ?
Wind is pumping out what it can - and there's no more to be had. Ditto solar. Ditto nuclear. Ditto hydro in that it'll be running at whatever it's water supply can do.
So, when you add some INCREMENTAL load to the grid, where will the balancing generation come from ? It can't come from wind, solar, nuclear - they are already throwing out what they can. So it'll come from those gas and coal stations that have spare capacity.
So, while you are correct in that the actual watts you get out of the socket will come from a mix of supplies - the INCREMENTAL load you have added can only be supplied by gas/coal.

As an analogy. There's this big bucket, with a few "generators" throwing balls into it. Windy is throwing green balls in, but he has a limited and variable supply of them. He's been told to throw in all he can get his hands on. Sunny has a similarly limited and variable supply of yellow balls - and again has been told to throw in all he can get hold of. Nuky has a fairly regular supply of white balls - and gets to throw all of them into the bucket.
Lastly, there's Gaz with blue balls, and Chalky with black balls - they've been told that between then they are put in enough to keep the bucket full, and nearly all of the time they've got loads of balls spare.
Meanwhile a variable number of people are coming along and grabbing handfuls of balls. What they get will be a mix of colours - there's no way that they can have just green balls, so these "green" tariffs are nothing more than greenwash.
When you come along to grab a handful of balls to power your lecky car, that'll lower the level in the bucket. Windy, Sunny, and Nuky can't put any more in - so it's down to Gaz and Chalky to put in as many extra balls as you took out. Yes, you'll have some green, yellow, and white balls - but ALL the ADDITIONAL balls going to replace what you took out will be blue or black. There will be blue and black balls going into the bucket that would not have gone in if you hadn't taken a big handful - but not one EXTRA green, yellow, or white ball will have gone in to replace what took.

So you can try and justify it any way you like, for the foreseeable future in the UK - if you run an electric car then it is not "green". The lecky you use will be a mix, but every kWh of lecky you take will have caused an additional kWh of output from gas or coal fired plant.
Sponsored Links
Or to put it another way, if total Uk demand is 100GW, and supply is 33 nuke, 33 wind 33 solar and 1 coal, you think that every electric car uses 100% coal.

No it doesn't. Electric cars are just a fragment of total load.

You might just as well say that if there is a hydro station somewhere in the UK, it is using 100% hydro.

Or that if two people turn off their electric kettles, it is using 100% nuke.

Or if one person turns on a kettle, it is using 100% gas.

Demand and supply are going up and down all the time, and with them, price, which brings onstream more expensive supplies.

That means that if demand increases, and the price inches up, it becomes worthwhile for somebody to put up another windmill or another tidal lagoon. Or to mend a broken windmill rather than leaving it out of order until next winter. Or to open the taps on a hydro. You would only be able to detect it, though, if people bought ten thousand electric cars.

The crazy terms of the Hinkley Point contract mean we will be paying about three times current market price (index linked) for nuke energy. What a pity we have had thirty years of numbskull governments who pushed us into this mess.
Or to put it another way, if total Uk demand is 100GW, and supply is 33 nuke, 33 wind 33 solar and 1 coal, you think that every electric car uses 100% coal.
No, I said absolutely nothing that could be sensibly interpreted as that.

Given the above figures, and you add "1 unit" of load, what will the new figures be ? It'll still be 33 nuke, 33 wind, and 33 solar - because they have nothing more to give. So that means you have to add 1 unit of gas or coal. That extra unit of load you added caused an extra unit of "dirty" lecky to be produced - adding your load directly caused an equivalent addition of gas or coal derived production, so yes I'd say it's fair to call it a gas or coal powered car.

When we do get to the state where the figured are 33 wind, 33 solar, 33 nuke and -1 pumped storage with no gas or coal; and adding your load makes that zero pumped storage; then you can claim "green" credentials. But only when there is no gas or coal.

You might just as well say that if there is a hydro station somewhere in the UK, it is using 100% hydro.
Which is what some people genuinely claim when with a hint of piety point out that they have a "green" tariff.

The crazy terms of the Hinkley Point contract mean we will be paying about three times current market price (index linked) for nuke energy. What a pity we have had thirty years of numbskull governments who pushed us into this mess.
I don't think we have any disagreement there !
coincidentally, it was reported today that NG is after a piece of the action

" National Grid, the operator of the UK’s electricity system, is pressing for a rule change that would allow it to own storage, one of the key technologies that will help Britain keep the lights on in future.
The move would pit National Grid against electricity generators such as the “big six” utilities, which are also keen on developing more storage to make sure the UK has sufficient power during times when renewables such as wind and solar are not operating because of weather conditions.
Under current rules, National Grid and also distribution network operators — which own and maintain electricity cables locally — are not allowed to expand into storage as it is seen as a “generation” activity. Storage absorbs electricity when too much is being generated and then releases it when there is high demand. "
I drive an electric car, have done for just over 2 years. 1st had a Renault Zoe and now a Kia Soul EV.

I'll be entirely honest, the environment wasn't even on my radar. Simply put, they are a joy to drive on a congested rush hour trudge to work and back. It also costs peanuts to run; 100miles is about £2.50.
Until they start taxing electricity used to charge cars. Fuel duties raise over £27 billion pa - no way are they going to sit back and just watch that disappear.
Bet you are wrong on that bas

They won't tax the electricity used for charging... too open to abuse, you can't exactly dye electons red... (although I wouldn't put it past them to try suggesting it in parliment!). No they'll simply tax cars themselves and force us all to have a GPS transponder to do so, they'll also tell us that they can catch terrorists though it. Later on the location databases will be opened upto HMRC, et all

The smart meters won't look so bad then!
They could easily make smart meters mandatory, and they would have no problem in identifying EV charging use. OK - even if you could get round that by charging your car from a normal socket, that isn't going to be of interest to people who would actually quite like to fully recharge their cars overnight.

And use of public charging points could be priced at anything.
How does the pricing of this work out?

What I mean is, in the home gas is far cheaper than electric - three or four times cheaper?

Yet here we have someone getting the equivalent of two or three gallons (£13 or £19) of petrol for £2.50 of electricity.

It'll need some tax rate to make up for the deficit.

What am I missing?
Road user pricing might be the alternative. It may be needed anyway when cars become self-driving since all that demand currently suppressed by congestion delays will be released once people can play on their phones all the time and they don't care how long it takes.

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

Sponsored Links