The new study by Aurora Energy Research claims EVs will reach cost parity with petrol/diesel cars in the next decade, with the crossover happening soonest for smaller and lower range cars.
It forecasts that by 2035 there could be 10 million EVs on the road, representing 30% of the total number of vehicles in the country.
The survey also adds that if battery costs fall faster than expected, then that number could top 15 million by that date.
Last year, the government announced a string of measures to encourage the take-up of EVs, including plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040.
In the past, a number of key obstacles have been identified to the large-scale deployment of EVs, including cost, ranging and access to charging points.
According to the report, these are all ‘likely to be addressed in the coming years’.
It claims the range of EVs will become sufficient for most users as battery sizes increase and consumers, the government and industry will all invest in new infrastructure and charging points.
But one of the biggest issues has often been the extra amount of electricity needed on the National Grid to power all the new EVs.
The report predicts that 10 million EVs will increase overall power demand by 19TWh per year, which equates to an increase of 6% on current demand levels.
At the moment, the report shows that EV owners tend to charge their vehicles up at home in the evening with energy prices are high and capacity on the grid is scarce.
But the introduction of ‘smart charging’ systems and special ‘time of use’ tariffs could encourage could persuade EV owners to charge up at different times, when there is much less demand on the grid.
The report claims 10 million EVs could increase peak demand on the by grid by 3GW, but it adds by charging EVs at different times, during the night and using ‘smart’ systems, the extra demand could be as little as 0.5GW and in addition, owners could save £170 per year in charging costs.
It also claims that by using more electricity in off-peak times, EVs could improve the economics of wind power and make it 2% more profitable.
‘In the coming years, we are likely to see a rapid increase in the number of electric cars on our roads – both in the UK and globally, as they reach cost parity with conventional cars,’ said Aurora’s head of research, Richard Howard.
‘There are many scare stories out there suggesting our power system cannot cope with the growth in electric vehicles.
‘On the contrary, our research suggests that provided EV charging is smart, the GB power system can easily accommodate 15 million+ electric cars.
‘In fact, the flexibility of EV charging could be beneficial for overall grid operation, and improve the economics of renewable power.’
To read the full report, click here.