News Digest Item
22 Jan 2018

German power grid not ready for e-car boom - study

Handelsblatt / Oliver Wyman

A large-scale roll-out of electric vehicles in Germany could overstrain the power grid, and the country should invest billions of euros to prevent a breakdown in the future, Jürgen Flauger and Franz Hubik write in the Handelsblatt. According to consultancy Oliver Wyman, an e-car quota of about 30 percent could lead to extensive blackouts in Germany if the grid is not reinforced. “By 2035, one third of all cars on German roads could be electric,” the consultancy says. Regionally limited bottlenecks could already occur in the next five to ten years, “for example in suburban areas with a high affinity to e-mobility.” According to the Handelsblatt, it is not the e-cars’ power consumption as such that is worrisome, but rather the higher peak load, when many e-car owners plug in their cars simultaneously in the evening. Hildegard Müller of energy provider innogy says Germany must invest about one billion euros per year until 2030 to prepare the grid for the expected e-car boom. However, others, such as consultancy Oliver Wyman, argue that the need for investment could be reduced through demand-side management that could better allocate charging cycles during the day.

Find the article in German here (paywall), and the Oliver Wyman press release in German here.

See the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s power grid for more information.

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