July has seen the passage of the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act through the UK Parliament. The legislation is set to improve electric chargepoint availability, give the Government new powers to ensure motorway services are upgraded to provide adequate charging points and allow city Mayors to request installations at large fuel retailers in their areas. For the first time, payment for charging and charging reliability will be standardised.
The government has committed to investing £1.5bn in ultra low emission vehicles by 2020. Chris Grayling, UK Secretary of State for Transport, said: "The Road to Zero Strategy sets out a clear path for Britain to be a world leader in the zero emission revolution - ensuring that the UK has cleaner air, a better environment and a stronger economy."
Public charging point, Arbroath Harbour Image: Nick Burse
As part of this investment, the government has made £40m available to businesses to develop and demonstrate new ways of charging EVs.
The Office of Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK (part of UK Research and Innovation) is making the funding available via two competitions to support EV owners without off-street parking to charge their vehicles and for the wireless charging of commercial vehicles.
Meanwhile the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has stated that the UK government, energy regulator Ofgem and local authorities should enable the rollout of charging infrastructure to allow close to 100% electric vehicle (EV) sales by 2030.
The NIC assessment includes recommendations for minimum standards, identification of potential investments, collaboration between local authorities and charge points providers and the subsidy of rural and remote areas rapid charge points.
Ofgem, the UK energy regulator, has proposed a more flexible use of the energy system. If EV owners only top up outside peak demand times on the grid (when energy prices are cheapest) - at least 60% more EVs could be charged up compared with 'inflexible' charging where electric vehicles are only charged at peak times.
Published 28th August, 2018
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