The UK Government is to introduce new legislation requiring all new houses built in the country to feature a charging point for electric vehicles (EVs).
The proposal is another step towards the UK’s goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The proposal is an attempt to increase the uptake of battery electric vehicles (BEVs), which accounted for just 0.7% of all new car purchases in Britain during 2018.
The proposals aim to support and encourage the growing uptake of electric vehicles within the UK by ensuring that all new homes with a dedicated car parking space are built with an electric charge point, making charging easier, cheaper and more convenient for drivers.
‘With record levels of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads, it is clear there is an appetite for cleaner, greener transport,’ said transport secretary Chris Grayling. ‘Home charging provides the most convenient and low-cost option for consumers; you can simply plug your car in to charge overnight as you would a mobile phone.’
The legislation would be a world first, and complements wider investment and measures the Government has put in place to ensure the UK has one of the best electric vehicle infrastructure networks in the world – as part of the £1.5 billion (€1.7 billion) Road to Zero Strategy.
The Department for Transport said that installing charge points in residential buildings would add an additional cost of approximately £976 (€1080) per parking space for an average home.
A small percentage of new housing without parking facilities will not be required to install a charge point. Consultations on changing the building regulations in England will take 12 weeks. Regulations for Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland are matters devolved to Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh for separate consideration.
The Government has already taken steps to ensure that existing homes are electric vehicle ready by providing up to £500 (€553) off the costs of installing a charge point at home, with new legislation recently put in place to move this grant to smart chargers only.
Having supported the installation of almost 100,000 domestic charge points through grant support schemes, the Government has also announced that it is consulting on requirements that all new private charge points use ‘smart’ technology.
This means an electric vehicle would charge at different times of the day in response to signals, such as electricity tariff information. This would encourage off-peak charging, keeping costs down for consumers.
An overwhelming majority of the UK population would use smart-charging systems for electric vehicles (EVs) to avoid peak grid demand and reduce energy bills, according to a three-year study by Energy Systems Catapult.
The proposed legislation complements other government measures to improve electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including a £400 million (€442 million) Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund as part of the Road to Zero strategy to transition the UK to zero-emission vehicles.