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Fresh UK regulations to put electric vehicle charging points in new homes

Out-Law News | 25 Nov 2021 | 2:43 pm | 2 min. read

The UK government has announced plans to add up to 145,000 new electric vehicle (EV) charge points to England’s grid network each year, ahead of a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has published its response to a July 2019 consultation confirming that, from next year, all new homes with on-site parking must have an EV charge point.

The changes will also require all newly-built and refurbished non-residential buildings with more than ten on-site parking spaces to have at least one charge point – as well as cable routes for at least one in five spaces.

Meanwhile, blocks of flats undergoing major renovation with more than ten on-site parking spaces will need to provide residents with at least one charge point for each dwelling with associated parking, and cable routes in all spaces without charge points.

The new charge points will come on top of the 250,000 already installed in homes and workplaces.

Ministers said the regulations, which are the first of their kind in any country with existing EV charging infrastructure, will be funded using part of the £620 million earmarked by the Treasury for the transition to electric cars in its net-zero emissions strategy last month.

The DfT did not say whether the new charging points would be required to meet uniform standards on charging times."

Electric vehicle expert Peter Feehan of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said the expansion was a “positive move”, but added that the government still faced questions on the detail of its proposals.

“The plan highlights that a significant amount of charging occurs at home,” he said. “This is something we have seen across Europe, where figures show that around 75% of all charging occurs in driveways. Destination charging and at-work charging are obvious areas to target and given EVs can stay on charge for longer periods, the impact and reinforcement to the grid will be reduced."

Feehan added that it will be “interesting” to see how developers react to the changes.

“There are some signs of early adoption, but how will house builders who already need to make homes more energy efficient - and now EV-ready - absorb the new costs? The key determinant will be the potential impact on grid connections, particularly for garden villages and the government’s ambition to meet the housing shortages in the UK,” he said.

Sonal Shah, transport infrastructure expert at Pinsent Masons, added: “The impact on retrofitting offices will require some deeper thought, especially in shared and rented office spaces. Negotiations over installation and rights to use could be tricky, and regulatory questions around the resale of energy from charging at work still need to be answered."

“Crucially, while the way we connect and travel has changed since the start of the pandemic and the ranges of EV are increasing, a mobility solution for longer journeys is needed," she said.

“Consumers and companies need confidence before they switching to EVs – that means additional charging infrastructure outside of the home and workplace. In September, Ofgem outlined its plans to help with this, including forcing the network operators to absorb more of the connection costs, but it’s still early days."

“Current policy approaches, including the recent measures, will need to be supplemented for a more holistic and sustainable e-Mobility solution," she said.