UK Gov’t Plans For Electric Cars Will Cost $263 Billion

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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It could cost the U.K. $263 billion to to meet its goal of replacing all its conventional cars with electric ones by 2040, according to The Telegraph newspaper.

The National Grid expects demand for electricity to increase as much as 50 percent if Britain switches to all electric vehicles. That means that more power plants will be needed to handle the surge in demand to meet the government’s goal of converting Britain’s vehicle fleet to all-electric in 23 years.

The Telegraph estimated that bringing new electricity online could cost $263 billion, or one-quarter of the government’s current budget. The cost is high because the U.K. government doesn’t want to use cheaper coal or natural gas power.

Michael Gove, the U.K.’s Environment Secretary, said that only wind farms or nuclear power stations will be considered to provide the additional electricity, but that would require constructing 10,000 new wind turbines or 10 more nuclear power plants.

Only 7,600 wind turbines operate in the U.K., so meeting demand would require a huge effort.

This “may seem a long way off,” Rob Doepel, a partner at the energy firm EY, told The Telegraph, but Britain has a “long history of investment in energy structure drifting beyond proposed timescales.”

U.K. officials proposed a total ban Wednesday on new gasoline or diesel cars by 2040 as a way to reduce air pollution and fight global warming. This is merely the most recent moratorium on gasoline powered cars. France enacted a similar 2040 ban earlier this month. Additionally, Norway’s leading political parties reached an agreement to ban new petrol powered cars by 2025.

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