Billions to be invested in North West's power network as it's predicted 1.2 million electric cars will be on the region's roads by 2030

The North West's network operator predicts falling battery costs could lead to 1.2 million electric cars and vans on the region’s roads by 2030.

Already more Preston drivers are going green, according to figures showing a surge in electric vehicle registrations.

Department for Transport data shows 651 ULEVs (Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles) were licensed to addresses in Preston as of September – a 78 per cent increase from 366 a year earlier.

>>>Click here to read more about the upsurge

Electricity North West staff

Electricity North West makes its predictions as part of its annual Distribution Future Electricity Scenarios (DFES) report, which sets out how it expects the way we use energy will change over the next 30 years.

This year’s report also estimates that the government’s Heat and Building Strategy will lead to 200,000 heat pumps replacing gas boilers in the North West by the end of this decade.

Demand for power

As a result of these shifts, Electricity North West expects the demand for power to increase by a third of its current levels by 2030, and is preparing to invest £1.8bn between 2023 and 2028 to create vital new capacity.

The business will deliver the plan at the lowest cost to customers, reducing its part of energy bills by at least 5.5 per cent a year, while leading the region to a net zero carbon future.

>>>Here’s how much you could save by switching to an electric car

Steve Cox, who leads Electricity North West’s innovation and modernisation strategies, said: “With falling battery costs making electric vehicles more and more affordable, we’re expecting a revolution in how people get around the region.

“We expect the number of electric vehicles on the North West’s roads to soar from around 20,000 now to more than 1.2 million by the end of the decade.

“But that shift to electric transport will be just one of a number of huge transitions we will make over the next eight years. As the network operator, we make these detailed assessments to ensure we’re ready for them all.”

Chance to earn money

As well as investing in creating new capacity, one of the other things the business is doing to manage demand on the network is offering heavy users of power such as businesses the opportunity to earn money by reducing the amount of electricity they use, or increasing the amount they generate, at peak times.