Government consults on electric car chargepoint availability and accessibility

Department for Transport proposes minimum level of charging infrastructure in car parks and inclusive design for EV chargers

The Government is consulting on the availability and accessibility of public electric car charging infrastructure, seeking new powers to intervene in the private sector.

A new consultation launched by the Department for Transport (DfT) – and its subsidiary the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) – is part of a call for four pieces of primary legislation.

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The first would grant the department new powers to set a minimum level of charging infrastructure in non-residential car parks, which landowners must adhere to. The DfT suggests one chargepoint for every 10 parking spaces would be a potential target, with cable routes for chargers in one in five spaces.

If granted these powers, the DfT says it would “not have immediate plans” to use them and would instead “continue to monitor the delivery of charging infrastructure”, using the powers only if deemed appropriate.

The Government wants similar powers obliging local authorities to plan and deliver EV future charging infrastructure plans, pointing the finger at councils that have “not yet identified what is needed” in their jurisdictions with regard to on-street chargepoints and rapid charging hubs.

New Rapid Charging Fund

The third piece of legislation relates to the new £950 million Rapid Charging Fund to finance the installation of additional or upgraded EV charging infrastructure at service stations on motorways and major A roads.

The fund covers only England, future-proofing the provision of EV charging on National Highways’ strategic road network. The Government now wants the power to require open tenders for new agreements with private firms, with a minimum of two chargepoint providers contracted at each service station, creating more competition between companies.

Finally, the Government is seeking EV drivers’ views on their experience at public chargepoints, with a view to improving accessibility for disabled motorists and making people safer when their car is charging.

The consultation is open until 11:45pm on Monday 22 November. Responses can be submitted on the DfT’s website, by email or by post.

Click here to learn more about charging an electric car in the UK…

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