SWINDON will have more than 140,000 electric vehicles by 2050, a new report predicts.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks projected the figure which would be a massive rise from the 769 electric vehicles in the town as of 2019.

The power provider’s report sees the town’s 370 heat pumps being fired up to 83,000 well as a brighter future for its solar energy capacity which could go from 8MW to 69MW. 8MW.

SSEN commissioned the Distribution Future Energy Scenario report to help understand the impact of the UK government’s 2050 net zero target on its infrastructure and the communities it serves, including Swindon.

The Climate Change Committee has forecast that electricity demand in the UK could treble by 2050, with the de-carbonisation of heating and transport expected to significantly ramp up in the coming decades.

SSEN is investing to understand and prepare for this demand in its central southern England distribution area.

Its distribution system operation director Andrew Roper said: “This report is a valuable tool in informing and supporting the communities we serve transition to net zero in a secure and cost-effective manner.

“This will mean a significant increase in electric vehicles on the roads which will require charging infrastructure, heat pumps in our homes and small-scale renewables on our rooftops.

“Data sharing will be critical in the net zero journey. That’s why we have made this data publicly available and will continue to work alongside the households, businesses and communities we serve to deliver a fair, cost-effective and secure transition to a net zero future.”

The government’s efforts to go green included the banning of new diesel and petrol vehicles being sold by 2030 and a target of rolling out 600,000 heat pumps each year by 2028.

SSEN is responsible for the safe and secure supply of electricity to over eight million people in 3.8 million homes and businesses in central southern England and north Scotland. The report forecasts the impact of the net zero journey for both distribution areas, with an overall increase to 30,000 electric vehicles and 47 million heat pumps and 17.8GW of renewable energy,

Ray Arrell is REGEN’s head of technical development who led the team that developed the scenario analysis.

He said: “This report reflects the unprecedented rate of change within the UK electricity system. Already we have seen a massive shift in generation towards renewable energy technologies.

"This is set to continue and will further drive down the carbon intensity of electricity, which will in turn enable the decarbonisation of transport and heat with the rapid adoption of electric vehicles and heat pumps.

"Meanwhile new technologies such as battery storage and hydrogen electrolysis are moving from speculative project enquiries to on-the-ground deployment.

“As we would expect, there is significant variation across the scenarios, which for the DFES 2020 includes three scenarios that adhere to net zero emission targets.

"However, as UK and regional leaders firm up on their commitment to achieve net zero, we are beginning to see a much clearer decarbonisation pathway.”