Louise Dalton sums up new UK regulatory measures on EV charging and their expected impact
In 2021, the UK Office of Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) launched a consultation on consumers in public charging points (CP). The government’s response to the consultation has been published.
Legislation aimed at improving the consumer experience should be fully effective by the end of 2024. The government has committed to streamline payment methods, improve network reliability and open CP data. These measures represent tangible progress and are hot after a promise to increase the number of state CPs tenfold (to 300,000) by 2030.
There is currently no one-size-fits-all payment method on the public CP network. Some CPs are contactless, some require special applications, and others rely on the user to connect to the Internet. That needs to change. Immediately after the adoption of the legislation, all new power plants with a capacity of more than 7.1 kW will have to have a non-proprietary payment system that operates independently of Internet access. Existing CPs with a capacity of more than 50 kW will need to be retrofitted to this standard by the end of 2023.
By the end of 2024, all charging station operators (CPOs) will have to agree with an accredited roaming provider, which eliminates the need for consumers to install multiple applications for specific operators. It is unclear who these accredited providers will be and how they will be regulated.
Prices for state KPs have been criticized as opaque; concerns were repeated during the consultation. CPOs not only express their prices differently, making it difficult for consumers to accurately compare cost-effectiveness, but also allows them to fluctuate during a single charge. Consumers do not know what they are paying for and whether the price is competitive. This situation should end in 2022. The government requires all CPOs to indicate their prices in p / kWh and that the price indicated at the beginning of the tariff be maintained throughout the process.
CP reliability is another issue. The functionality of motorways is uncertain and a cause for concern about fuel supply. By the end of 2023, the government will ensure 99% reliability in the UK’s fast charging network and will require each CP to be connected to a 24-hour inquiry. Reliability indicators, however, still need to be agreed with the industry.
CPOs not only express their prices differently, making it difficult for consumers to accurately compare cost-effectiveness, but also allows them to fluctuate during a single charge
EV owners have expressed disappointment at the difficulty of finding available and valid KPs. Keeping in mind how this problem can hinder the use of EVs, the government will allow all CPOs to adopt Open Charging Point Interface (OCPI) data standards within 12 months. Consumers will then be able to use static and dynamic information to make a decision to charge a fee. There is currently no platform available to share this information, although the government is committed to putting it into effect by the end of 2022. There are also concerns about how the reports can be enforced.
The government’s response is significant and promises well to consumers who use CP. The proposed and announced measures should address issues where the experience of EV drivers falls lower than that of their oil equivalents. How often, the devil will be in the details.
The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Automotive World Ltd.
Louise Dalton is a partner of the energy and climate change team of law firm CMS
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