New laws to be introduced in the coming months will require the UK’s rapid charging network to have a 99% reliability rate and offer real-time status updates. At least that is what the British Government suggests in its new Public Charge Point regulation.
Now published as a draft, the rules shall improve the charging experience for EV owners. Ministers hope the new regulations will eradicate range anxiety and create a “world-class” charging grid.
The rules largely follow the ‘Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy’ announced in March 2022. Then Prime Minister Boris Johnson wanted to make EV charging easier and cheaper than refuelling ICE vehicles.
Operators were already tasked to enable contactless payments or to show transparent pricing, and these requirements were confirmed. In addition, firms will be required to allow customers to pay via a third-party provider.
CPOs must also display the cost of charging in pence per kilowatt hour either on the charger itself or through a separate device that can be accessed without a contract.
The new rules published today also set a minimum standard for reliability – any public charging station is to function 99% of the time. All chargers will also be required to produce real-time data on their status, offering greater information to users.
Charging firms could be fined up to £10,000 for each unit that fails to comply with the requirements.
Just how the rules may be enforced is open at this stage.
Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder & COO at Zapmap, said: “From easy payment through to chargers you know will work when you get to them, these are issues which have been highlighted for many years.” She added it was “great to see these concerns now being addressed by Parliament, which will lead to more collaboration across the industry”.
Ian Johnston, the CEO of Osprey Charging and lead member in the lobby group Charge UK, also said the industry “welcomes these regulations”. He added: “Consumer confidence in charging infrastructure is vital, and we look forward to working with the government to implement these regs over the coming months.”
When announcing the draft in 2022, the government also confirmed a £1.6 billion investment in 300,000 new charge points across the country by 2030, which, the government says, would be five times as many traditional fuel pumps currently in operation. It remains to be seen if these targets will be reached.