Don’t boil the kettle while charging your electric car – warns National Grid 0

Don’t boil the kettle while charging your electric car - warns National Grid

Owners of electric cars have been warned not to boil the kettle while charging their electric car as it’s believed the combination will blow the fuse in the majority of UK households.

The National Grid believes that it will take a lengthy 19 hours for a car battery to be fully charged using a standard 3.5kW battery charger, even if it was already a quarter full.

Even a more powerful 11kW charger was used, the process would still take six hours and if many standard household electrical items – a kettle for example – were used at the same time, the overload would blow the fuse.   

“The average household is supplied with single phase electricity and is fitted with a main fuse of 60-80 amps,” the National Grid said.

Don’t boil the kettle while charging your electric car - warns National Grid 2

“If one were to use an above average power charger, say 11kW, this would require 48 amps. When using such a charger it would mean that you could not use other high demand electrical items… ?without tripping the house’s main fuse.”

These warning come in the wake of the Government announcing plans to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2040 as they encourage people to purchase electric vehicles.

Experts in the automotive industry are expressing concern about the effect this will have on the National Grid however, with millions of new electric vehicles needing to be charged on a daily basis.

Most electric cars will need a battery capacity of 90 kilowatt hours (kWh) to make trips of around 300 miles; if people are to be persuaded to abandon their diesel and petrol vehicles a solution will need to be found to boost battery range and prevent them breaking longer journeys with a ‘charge stop’.

The National Grid believes that the building of “super fast” charging forecourts, on the sites of redundant petrol stations would be a much better option than a “large scale rebuild of the domestic electricity infrastructure” by fitting homes with the maximum 100amp main fuse.

Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, has said Britain “can’t carry on” using petrol and diesel cars due to the effects they are having on the environment and people’s health.

“There is no alternative to embracing new technology,” he said last month.

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