All new-build homes could soon be fitted with an electric car chargepoint, the government has outlined in a public consultation on changing building regulations in England. The consultation comes alongside a package of announcements to support electric vehicle drivers and improve the experience of charging.
The proposals aim to support and encourage the growing uptake of electric vehicles within the UK by ensuring that all new homes with a dedicated car parking space are built with an electric chargepoint, making charging easier, cheaper and more convenient for drivers.
The legislation would be a world first, and complements wider investment and measures the government has put in place to ensure the UK has one of the best electric vehicle infrastructure networks in the world – as part of the £1.5 billion Road to Zero Strategy.
The government has also set out today that it wants to see all newly installed rapid and higher powered chargepoints provide debit or credit card payment by Spring 2020.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “With record levels of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads, it is clear there is an appetite for cleaner, greener transport.
“Home charging provides the most convenient and low-cost option for consumers – you can simply plug your car in to charge overnight as you would a mobile phone.”
The government has already taken steps to ensure that existing homes are electric vehicle ready by providing up to £500 off the costs of installing a chargepoint at home.
Having supported the installation of almost 100,000 domestic chargepoints through grant support schemes, the government has also announced that it is consulting on requirements that all new private chargepoints use ‘smart’ technology.
This means an electric vehicle would charge at different times of the day in response to signals, such as electricity tariff information. This would encourage off-peak charging, keeping costs down for consumers.
The consultation proposes using powers under the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act to require most new chargepoints to have smart functionality and meet minimum standards. It also launches a call for evidence on the longer-term options for smart charging.
Although this sounds like a good idea, there are still some concerns. Sebastian Speight, Managing Director of Infrastructure at Ingenious, said: “There is a justifiable concern about the drag on the adoption of electric vehicles in the UK due to the limits on the speed of rolling out the associated charging infrastructure. There are currently a number of market participants developing and implementing strategies for rolling out charging infrastructure but there is also a reasonable degree of uncertainty about the future patterns of consumer behaviour which creates a level of risk in these business models which has a closer fit with strategic or venture capital rather than more traditional infrastructure capital. These uncertainties are around the technology type (AC versus DC), charging location and fear of stranded assets and convergence of operating systems. A closer involvement from public stakeholders should enable greater visibility on these risks and increase the availability of private capital.”