Government urged to mandate smart charging at workplaces too
The Government has been urged to ensure all new chargepoints, including at workplaces and public sites, are smart as it pushes ahead with plans to mandate smart tech for home chargers.
The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) has reiterated today (24 June 2019) that all future government-funded home chargepoints need to be ‘smart’ from 1 July 2019 onwards to help contribute to the country’s net zero emissions target.
The move was first announced last December and applies to chargepoints backed by the OLEV Grant, also known as the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), which provides grant funding of up to 75% (capped at £500) towards the cost of installing electric vehicle chargepoints at domestic properties across the UK.
It means that such chargepoints must have the ability to be remotely accessed and capable of receiving, interpreting and reacting to a signal; helping to reduce the impact of electric vehicles to the electricity system while keeping costs down for consumers by encouraging off-peak charging.
It follows a commitment in the Road to Zero Strategy published last year that the Government would support the development of one of the best electric vehicle infrastructure networks in the world by taking powers through the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, including on ensuring that chargepoints are smart ready by giving government powers to set requirements prohibiting the sale or installation of chargepoints unless they meet certain requirements.
Announcing that the Government was pushing ahead with the change, Roads Minister Michael Ellis said: “The Government wants the UK to be the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle, with leadership and innovation helping us pave the way to a zero-emission future.
“We’re in the driving seat of the zero emission revolution. Our new requirements for chargepoints could help keep costs down, ensuring the benefits of green transport are felt by everyone.”
Approximately 200 chargepoint models, from 25 chargepoint manufacturers, have been confirmed as eligible after 1 July 2019, and have been marked accordingly on the Government’s online chargepoint model approval list.
Commenting on the announcement, Daniel Brown, policy manager at the Renewable Energy Association, said: “As more of our power comes from renewable technologies such as wind and solar, it’s key that we increase the ‘flexibility’ of our energy system. Smart charging will be an important part of this in the future, allowing homes to benefit from new tariffs and from bill-reducing technologies such as rooftop solar and battery storage.
“We welcome this move and hope the Government go a step further in the future, by mandating the smartness of all new chargepoints including those installed in workplaces and in public locations.”
The AA also welcomed today’s confirmation. Edmund King, AA president, said: “Three-fifths (59%) of drivers agree that domestic charging points should automatically default and delay charging a vehicle until energy prices are at their lowest. As well as keeping bills down, it will also allow the grid to cope with the new demand.
“However, there are occasions when drivers will need to override the system and charge their cars immediately. Three-quarters (75%) want this option as part of the new system and we are pleased it is in place ahead of the new installations.”