The government said it would look to address barriers to private investment in new electric vehicle charging infrastructure and that it will also “regulate to ensure chargepoints are reliable and easy to use”. Measures will include new signposting to help drivers find nearby chargepoints and specific requirements on open data, price transparency, payment methods and reliability, it said.
The government vowed to help businesses limit the cost of connecting chargepoints to the electricity grid in Britain and said that it would encourage new business models in the market.
It said: “There is huge scope for chargepoint operators to gain by selling services to the grid, for the grid to gain by increasing flexibility, and for consumers to ultimately benefit through cheaper, and potentially even negative, tariffs if they agree to cede some control over charging or even share some of their vehicle’s battery capacity. We will continue to facilitate this innovation and encourage new business models to deliver the charging we need. This could be through local community charging companies, longer-term on-street concessions, remote charging, cable guttering, lamppost chargers or peer-to-peer charging services.”
Sonal Shah of Pinsent Masons, a projects expert who specialises in transport infrastructure, said the government’s new strategy is an important step in enabling the UK to deliver on part of the government’s transport decarbonisation strategy.
Shah said: “The government commitments should help in building confidence in users to make the switch to electric vehicles as well as in stimulating additional private sector investment. It is great to see this initiative at a key moment – the charging infrastructure is needed before the public can transition to electric vehicles in significant numbers – and this should foster greater collaboration between all stakeholders including the public and private sector, car manufacturers, chargepoint operators and infrastructure providers.”