I the thread about Dyson abandoning his e-car programme, I asked if anybody could do the simple arithmetic involved in estimating the power station requirements in the UK assuming we all eventually convert our polluting diesels etc to e-cars. And also our HGV’s and buses. And our North Sea gas supplies for domestic heating and industrial factories etc etc. I appreciated these estimates might be a bit tenuous. More like a wild guess.

But our younger generation seem to think us oldies have let them down. So I consider we should start with a broad picture of what might be needed. Hinkley Point C is a start, I suppose, but the rest of the UK’s investment in new power seems to be on hold at the moment.

Let’s start with the first wild guess. Let’s use a middle of the range Tesla Model 3 as our “typical” e-car. I’m guessing at a full charge of say 70 kWh gives it a range of 250 miles.

Average annual mileage of a typical car ? let’s say 10,000 miles. So our Tesla needs the equivalent of 40 full charges each year making that 2,800 kWh per annum.

32 million vehicles in the UK so we need 89,600,000,000 kWh per year.

Let’s assume that a power station runs 24/7, that’s 8,760 hours each year

So we need about 3 additional power stations, each the size of Hincley C (3,200 MW) running full blast, all year.

At present, UK generating capacity is about 90 GW, but peak demand is about 60 GW. So there is a 50 % safety margin to allow for downtime. **That suggests about 4 additional power stations, rather than 3, each capable of delivering 3,200 MW.**

Next, perhaps we could look at converting our HGVs and buses to electricity.

Then replacing our ageing existing Nuclear sets (9 GW i think)

Oh, and then the biggest remaining culprit, those gas-fired stations (18 GW or thereabouts)

I suppose we should stop using North Sea gas for heating, but I don’t have a number ready to hand at the moment !

As I said at the start, the above figures are a bit of a wild guess, not even a “starter for ten” and I would be delighted to have verifiable contributions such that those figures could be adjusted and be more meaningful.