Are Power Grids in Cities Ready for Widespread EV Uptake?

As part of a global push to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality, several governments, cities and states have issued bans against the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles in favor of electric vehicles (“EVs”). Europe undoubtedly leads the race towards electrifying its roads thanks to its ambitious ICE vehicle bans, with at least seven European countries pledging to ban the sale of new ICE vehicles over the next 30 years.

But as EV adoption increases over time, will power grids in cities be able to handle the increased demand for electricity? The European Union saw a 122% increase in the electric and PHEV sales over the first three quarters of 2020, representing about 8% of total new vehicle sales. In Sweden, electric automobiles took up a 28% share of auto sales for the first nine months of this year translating to 56,559 PHEVs or fully electric vehicles bought.

Despite the uptick in EV adoption, Stockholm has less than 4,000 charging stations publicly accessible and will require 25,000 stations by 2030 to keep up with the demand for power, says Kristofer Fröjd, the head of business development at Stockholm’s power distributor Ellevio. Even if the city is able to install the required chargers in time, the country’s power grid is often stretched to capacity, especially during winter when demand peaks. In the future, EV drivers may have to deal with slower charging speeds as power providers balance the demand for domestic heat with transport needs.

According to Per Eckemark, Svenska Kraftnät’s grid executive manager, electric vehicles will consume almost 10% of Sweden’s electric output by 2045, up from 0.4%. Svenska Kraftnät, which is the country’s national transmission grid operator, plans to rebuild one-third or roughly 3,107 miles of the country’s grid at a cost of $17.9 billion by 2030. However, officials assert that the additional power output will not be enough to forestall the country’s grid from being severely strained come 2022.

The situation is almost identical in most territories that are phasing ICE vehicles out in favor of EVs. Britain will need 2.8 million chargers at a cost of $22.07 billion by 2035 to meet power demands. In Canada, the province of British Columbia is projected to be home to approximately 350,000 EVs by 2030, requiring an additional 1,050 gigawatts hours of electricity per year.

Meanwhile, the EV industry is surging forward as it attempts to address the rapidly changing needs of car buyers. Nowhere else is this revolution evident than in the recent announcement by Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE), a global payments solutions provider, revealing that it was in the process of merging with a EV manufacturer based in Southern California.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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