Can the current energy grid handle the increasing number of electric vehicles on the road?

If every car on Australia’s roads today was to become electric, this would result in around a 15% increase in overall electricity demand. Given this transition will occur over the next 25 or so years (in order to achieve net zero by 2050), there is more than enough time for this level of new energy generation to come online.

One potential challenge for the grid from EVs is the time of charging. While current EV owners are generally either charging during the day using solar, or overnight to take advantage of cheap, off-peak electricity rates, further efforts will be required to ensure this behaviour continues as the number of EVs grows in Australia. This will help to prevent EVs putting extra stress on the electricity during peak demand periods.

Like all cars, EVs are generally parked more than 90% of the time, and so as long as drivers have access to charging where these vehicles are parked, there is significant flexibility in shifting the time of when charging occurs to minimise any negative grid impacts, while maximising the benefit for the driver through lower energy costs.

To read more about EVs and the Australia electricity grid, check out one of our recent reports on this topic here.