Millions of electric vehicle (EV) drivers in the UK can look forward to a significantly improved charging experience, thanks to groundbreaking new laws that were approved by Members of Parliament on the evening of October 24, 2023.
These new regulations are poised to bring enhanced convenience, transparency, and efficiency to the public charging process for EV owners.
Among the key provisions, the regulations will ensure that prices at EV charging points are transparent, making it easy for drivers to compare costs.
Furthermore, a substantial portion of new public charging stations will be required to offer contactless payment options, simplifying the payment process for users.
One of the most significant aspects of these regulations is the requirement for chargepoint providers to open up their data.
This means that EV drivers will be able to effortlessly locate an available charging point that suits their needs.
The open data will be accessible through various channels such as mobile apps, online maps, and in-vehicle software.
This will enable drivers to find nearby charging points, check their charging speeds, and determine their availability for use.
These measures are being introduced as the country witnesses record growth in its public charging infrastructure, with numbers surging by an impressive 42% year on year.
Jesse Norman, the Minister for Technology and Decarbonisation, expressed the significance of these regulations, stating, “Over time, these new regulations will improve EV charging for millions of drivers, helping them find the chargepoints they want, providing price transparency so that they can compare the cost of different charging options, and updating payment methods.”
“They will make the switch to electric easier than ever for drivers, support the economy, and help the UK reach its 2035 goals,” he added.
Once these regulations come into effect, drivers will also have access to a free 24/7 helpline for any issues related to public road charging.
Chargepoint operators will be required to open up chargepoint data, simplifying the process of locating available charging stations.
James Court, CEO of the Electric Vehicle Association England, lauded these regulations, saying, “Better reliability, clearer pricing, easier payments, plus the potentially game-changing opportunities of open data are all a major step forward for EV drivers and should make the UK one of the best places to charge in the world.”
These regulations complement the government’s recent efforts to accelerate the installation of EV charging points, as outlined in the Plan for Drivers.
These measures include a review of the grid connections process for installations and an extension of chargepoint grants for schools.
The government is also actively supporting the expansion of charging infrastructure in local communities.
Local authorities can now apply for the first round of the £381 million Local EV Infrastructure fund, which will lead to the installation of tens of thousands more charging points and improve access to charging for drivers without off-street parking.
Additionally, the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) is open to all UK local authorities.
The UK government has committed to achieving zero-emission vehicles by 2035, with ambitious targets for zero-emission cars and vans.
These regulations are a critical step in supporting this transition and ensuring that EV adoption becomes more accessible and efficient for everyone.
In addition to these regulations, the government has released its response to the Future of Transport Zero Emission Vehicles consultation, reaffirming its intent to require local transport authorities to develop local charging strategies as part of their local transport plans.
This will ensure that every region in the UK has a plan for expanding EV charging infrastructure.