Extensive use of electric vehicles in Britain will necessitate investment and development of the national grid after 2015, an industry analyst told delegates at the Sunderland International Automotive Conference.

Senior consultant with Frost and Sullivan, Nick Ford, told 140 delegates at the Stadium of Light that while Britain currently lagged behind Germany and France in use of electric vehicles there would be 100,000 EVs in the UK by 2015 with 80,000 charging points.

Government incentives favoured sales of EVs and development of the electric infrastructure and this will push up demand for the vehicles, he said.

The recession has seen more Government intervention in OEMs plans and strings attached to aid programmes were promoting greener technologies such as hybrids and electric vehicles which will accelerate this transition to EVs and change the fuelling infrastructure.

Mr Ford said that analysis of the electrical generation network showed it could cope with predicted demand up to 2015 but after that point additional power generation over and above today’s capacity would be needed to prevent outages.

He said F&S analysis suggested there would need to be greater use of electricity from renewable resources and the development of smart metering to optimise supply and demand as well as improved management of the electricity supply capacity currently available.

The arrival of EVs will also change the global car market brands with about 90per cent of models being produced by established traditional manufacturers and the rest will be produced by newcomers to the market.

By 2015 there will be an estimated 43 OEMs making 75 models of EVs and the longer term future of EVs would see a new sector created in handling the regeneration and recycling of batteries, he added.

Creation of the batteries needed, about 1.2m by 2015, will also see new alliances formed by car makers and electrical or electronic companies, so the industry will be significantly changed from that of today, said Mr Ford.