The government has announced new laws which will benefit millions of electric vehicle (EV) drivers, making public charging easier and more reliable.
The new regulations - which were laid before Parliament in July this year and approved on 24th October - will ensure transparency of prices across networks and charge points, making them easier to compare.
Contactless payment options are also to become mandatory across the UK’s charging infrastructure, with the new laws mandating contactless payment on new public charge points with a power of 8 kW or above, as well as non-contactless rapid charge points (50 kW+) in operation before the regulation comes into force.
The measures come as the country reaches record levels of public charging infrastructure, with the latest Zapmap charging statistics showing that the overall number of charge points is growing by 43% year on year.
“Over time, these new regulations will improve EV charging for millions of drivers, helping them find the charge points they want, providing price transparency so that they can compare the cost of different charging options, and updating payment methods,” said Jesse Norman, Technology and Decarbonisation Minister.
“They will make the switch to electric easier than ever for drivers, support the economy and help the UK reach its 2035 goals.”
Charge point operators will also be required to open up their data in order to enable drivers to find charge points that meet their needs across apps, online maps and in-vehicle software.
Charging networks with Live data partnerships with Zapmap already provide this data to users on the Zapmap app and desktop map. Enabling users to see the live status and availability of charge points, on top of the filtering features provided for charging speed, payment methods, locations types and more.
“From easy payment through to chargers you know will work when you get to them, these are issues we know drivers have highlighted for many years,” said Melanie Shufflebotham, Co-founder & COO at Zapmap.
“Whether it’s showing the live status of charge points – if they are in use, in service or otherwise – or whether it’s our cross-network payment solution Zap-Pay, Zapmap has led the way in identifying and addressing the needs of EV drivers. It’s great to see these concerns now being addressed by Parliament.
“Stepping back, the shift to electric vehicles is crucial if we are to meet our net zero targets. And these regulations will support this transition by boosting confidence in the public charging network.”
Once the regulations come into force, drivers will also be able to contact free 24/7 helplines for any issues accessing charging on public roads.
CPOs will be required to open up their data in order to enable drivers to find charge points that meet their needs.
“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,” said James Court, CEO, Electric Vehicle Association England.
“As the rollout of charging infrastructure gathers momentum, these regulations will ensure quality and help put consumers' needs at the heart of this transition.”
The government has also published its response to the Future of Transport Zero Emission Vehicles consultation, confirming its intention to introduce laws to require local transport authorities to produce local charging strategies if they have not done so as part of local transport plans, ensuring that every part of the country has a plan for EV charging.
These regulations follow the government’s recent announcement of a range of measures to speed up the installation of charge points through the Plan for Drivers. This includes reviewing the grid connections process for installation and extending charge point grants for schools.