The Automated and Electric Vehicles (AEV) Act, which will improve and expand electric vehicle public charging, has passed through Parliament.
The AEV Act will give the government new powers to ensure motorway services are upgraded with plenty of points and for local government to request installations at large fuel retailers in their areas.
The new laws will make sure that public chargepoints are compatible with all vehicles, standardise how they are paid for and set standards for reliability.
Jesse Norman, roads minister, said: “The UK is becoming a world leader in the roll-out of low-emission transport. Today we have passed a significant milestone in that journey.
“The increasing automation of our cars is transforming the way we drive, and the government is steadily updating our laws in order to prepare for the future.
“This act will ensure that the UK’s infrastructure and insurance system is ready for the biggest transport revolution in a century.
The act will also bring automated vehicle insurance in line with motor insurance practice, ensuring that motorists are covered both when they are driving, and when the driver has legitimately handed control to the vehicle.
Kurt Rowe, associate at the national law firm Weightmans which has a specialist motor technology group looking at this exact topic, commented:
“This is an important milestone allowing the continuing development of motor technologies designed to improve social mobility, improve road safety by reducing the instances and severity of accidents on our roads, and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Whilst we welcome the Act, the legislation fails to address a number of key issues such as data and insurance recoveries. We would encourage insurers and manufacturers to collaborate on the use, access to, and sharing of the data collected by driver assisted and automated vehicles to ensure that insurers have a clear and transparent understanding of the cause of an accident, especially when the vehicles are driven autonomously. We would also encourage the development of a financial recovery framework specifically aimed at ensuring proper and efficient processing of insurance claims. Both measures being essential to reduce red tape and improve the customer journey.”