All-Electric Future Fizzles: EV Chargers First Target For RE Power Rationing

The trope has it that soon we’ll all be auto-piloted by EVs charged by electrons lovingly caressed from sunshine and breezes. Although, if that vision is ever realised, expect to hear more about collisions between stray unicorns and EVs, which is just as likely as an RE-powered all-EV future.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, grid managers have worked out that the potential load represented by having hundreds of thousands of all-EVs sucking power from the grid while they’re recharging threatens to send the grid into meltdown, on a routine basis.

Naturally, there’s no solar power available during the night-time EV charging routine and less still, where that routine coincides with a burst of calm weather.

It’s a dilemma, to be sure, as Paul Homewood reports.

UK: E-car chargers will turn off to prevent blackouts
Watts Up With That?
Paul Homewood
13 September 2021

From The Times:

Electric car charging points in people’s homes will be preset to switch off for nine hours each weekday at times of peak demand because ministers fear blackouts on the National Grid.

Under regulations that will come into force in May, new chargers in the home and workplace will be automatically set not to function from 8am to 11am and 4pm to 10pm. Public chargers and rapid chargers, on motorways and A-roads, will be exempt.

The government is also taking powers to impose a “randomised delay” of up to 30 minutes at other times to avoid pressure on the grid if there is a scramble among motorists to recharge their batteries at the same time.

There are only 300,000 battery electric vehicles (EVs) on the UK’s roads.

We have long been assured that EVs would not cause problems for the grid, because most of the charging would take place at night when there is spare capacity. As many of us could have told them, most drivers would simply plug in as soon as they got home.

Now the government has woken up to this reality.

Charging between 10pm and 8am may be OK for some, but what about shift workers?

This new regulation is a clear admission that government is now seriously concerned about grid capacity and blackouts. I suspect there will be many more measures to come designed to ration electricity.
Watts Up With That?

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Don’t worry. We’ll charge the cars at night, using solar panels.

  2. Just a hundred thousand evs would require up to 8 gw of generators if they recharged at the same time. I’m not saying they will do that but that’s the equivalent of the current wind fleets plated capacity, but of course not what it produces. Rafe is spot on. This has not been thought through by politicians.

  3. Any politician who does not understand the problems that EV’s could cause with the grid should not be in parliament. All they have done is swallow the ‘green pill’ and believed all the hype without doing any ‘fact checking’ by themselves.
    A little bit of maths and common sense is all that’s needed to confirm that the grid could not cope with demand.

  4. A cunning plan.
    Let’s use all that electricity stored in EV batteries to keep the grid going during those very rare occasions when wind and sun are not being obliging.
    Mandate mechanical and electrical interlocks that prevent the EVs being disconnected from the grid.

  5. Rafe Champion says:

    That is just one of the problems that are pending if electric vehicles achieve anything like the penetration that some people expect. There are many others, including the social injustice of favouring people who can afford evs over those who can’t. And check out the amount of power required, and the astronomical quantities of rare earth minerals.

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