The UK’s energy system isn’t prepared for the growing number of consumers choosing to buy small scale energy technologies such as electric vehicles (EVs), according to a new report by think tank Green Alliance.

It warns that without change, just six electric cars charging in close proximity at peak time could overload the grid and disrupt the local power supply.

The report says that in California, smart EV charging infrastructure (where EV owners are encouraged to charge their vehicles off-peak) has been used to keep the lights on at peak times, and given that 40% of drivers would consider buying an EV, the UK should follow California’s lead.

Brian Tilley, head of policy development at E.ON, said: “A new energy world is emerging; more decentralised, more flexible. We’ve adapted our business and now we believe the way the system is governed needs to adapt too. That’s why we welcome this report from the Green Alliance and applaud them in not only asking the right question but also in coming up with answers that point us in the right direction.