The launch of 16 Tesla electric car chargers has been pushed back because the power grid cannot handle the demand.

Bosses at Moto Services in Pease Pottage were ready to unveil the £1 million superchargers to the public at the beginning of June, ready for the school summer holidays.

But motorists intending to use them to repower their electric vehicles will now have to wait until September 9, once the new school term has begun.

Ken McMeikan, chief executive of Moto, told The Sunday Times: “People keep talking about the number of chargers, but I keep talking about the amount of power that is available to actually turn those chargers on.

“It will get worse before it gets better.”

Mr McMeikan says the UK’s power network is not up to the job of providing enough electricity to allow people to recharge their cars.

“If you think about the amount of fuel we supply through petrol forecourts that we are replacing with electricity, I genuinely don’t think that the grid and the regional operators have really understood how much electricity is required and how quickly,” he said.

“The only time that people have started to realise the problem is peak times, when you start to see the queues.”

The service station owner said he wants to build solar energy farms on land next to his businesses to cover any shortfalls in power by the UK network.

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UK Power Networks, which provides power to Moto in Pease Pottage, said: "Our £66m Green Recovery programme is installing additional larger power cables long distances to various motorway service stations across the south of the country to enable electric vehicle uptake.  

"At Pease Pottage we have completed a significant amount of the work, delivering 3,300m of 3,800m of cabling.

"In order to complete the works a number of consents are awaited and we are working with the relevant statutory authorities and other parties to ensure the works are completed as soon as possible and are doing all we can to get greater power to this site."