Added support for the UK’s electric car market has been announced in the Queen’s Speech today (Wednesday 21st June). The Government’s proposals to boost charge point numbers and improve accessibility was part of an Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill announced in Parliament today.
Today’s announcements at the State Opening of Parliament outlines the government’s plans for forthcoming bills that it will look to pass into law, in this case over the next two years. Among the announcements, reference was made to the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill.
HM The Queen said: “Legislation will be introduced to ensure the United Kingdom remains a world leader in new industries, including electric cars.”
Included in the bill are proposals to increase the number of EV charging points at motorway service areas, with a natural assumption that the Government is looking to boost the number of rapid charging units available to electric car drivers.
There is also mention of ‘large fuel retailers’, with charge points on petrol forecourts likely to become a far more common sight in the near future.
Improved infrastructure will be supported by legislation governing easier access too, with provision made for interoperability between charging networks.
The purpose of the bill is to: “Allow innovation to flourish and ensure the next wave of self-driving (automated) technology is invented, designed and operated safely in the UK.
“Ensure we retain our position as a global leader in the market for electric vehicles by improving our national charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure”
The main proposals include making the UK a world leader in research and development of automated transport technologies. It also looks to promote an infrastructure to support rapid adoption and use of electric vehicles.
This will help support the UK’s ambition to both “lead the world in electric vehicle technology and use”, and for “almost every car and van to be zero-emission by 2050”
The bill will cover the extension of compulsory motor vehicle insurance to cover the use of automated vehicles. It will also allow the Government to require the installation of charge points at motorway services and large fuel retailers.
A set of technical and operational standards will be set out to improve reliability and performance; and charge points will be easier to access with provision for cross-network co-operation included.
Dr Ben Lane, Director at Zap-Map.com commented: “We strongly welcome the announcement in today’s Queen’s Speech of the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill which will accelerate the roll-out of rapid charging points across the UK motorway network and at fuel stations nationwide.
“Together with more open access, its exactly what the market needs and EV drivers will welcome this development. As the UK’s leading charging portal, Zap-Map looks forward to adding the new sites as soon as they are announced as part of its service which includes all UK networks and home points.”