New laws were approved by MPs last night (October 25) to improve the charging experience for drivers of electric vehicles (EV). The regulations aim to make prices across chargepoints transparent and easy to compare, as well as ensuring that a large proportion of new public chargepoints have contactless payment options.
Under the new regulations, providers will be required to open up their data, allowing drivers to easily find an available chargepoint that meets their needs. This data will be accessible through apps, online maps, and in-vehicle software, making it easier for drivers to locate chargepoints, check their charging speeds, and determine their availability.
These measures come as the country sees a surge in public charging infrastructure. Technology and Decarbonisation Minister, Jesse Norman, stated that these new regulations will improve EV charging for millions of drivers, making it easier for them to find the chargepoints they want and providing price transparency to compare different charging options. Norman also emphasized that these regulations will support the economy and help the UK achieve its 2035 goals.
Once the regulations come into force, drivers will have access to free 24/7 helplines for any issues accessing charging on public roads. Chargepoint operators will also be required to open up chargepoint data, making it simpler to find available chargers.
James Court, CEO of the Electric Vehicle Association England, praised the new regulations, stating that they represent a major step forward for EV drivers. He believes that the improvements in reliability, clearer pricing, easier payments, and the potential benefits of open data will make the UK one of the best places to charge electric vehicles in the world. Court also emphasized that these regulations will ensure quality and prioritize consumers’ needs during the transition to electric vehicles.
The new regulations follow the government’s recent announcement of measures to expedite the installation of chargepoints through the Plan for Drivers. This includes reviewing the grid connections process for installation and extending chargepoint grants for schools.
The government is also actively supporting the rollout of charging infrastructure in local areas. Local authorities can currently apply for funding through the £381 million Local EV Infrastructure fund, which aims to deliver tens of thousands more chargepoints and improve the availability of charging for drivers without off-street parking. Additionally, the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) is open to all UK local authorities.
These regulations align with the government’s commitment to achieving zero emission vehicles by 2035. The goal is for 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans sold in Great Britain to be zero emission by 2030. The new regulations are specifically targeted at supporting drivers as more people make the switch to electric vehicles.