- Government proposes significant changes to the public electric vehicle charging sector
- Industry welcomes Government ambitions to improve the reliability of infrastructure and make payments more streamlined
- Government additionally confirm extensions to key grant schemes for homes and workplaces
The EV charging industry is today welcoming extensions to two grants schemes supporting home and workplace charge point deployment, and new proposals from the Government to improve the reliability of public charging infrastructure, make data more available to consumers, and make payments more streamlined.
On the grants, industry welcomes the extension to the EV Homecharge Scheme and the Workplace Charging Scheme as they are critical programs for supporting homes and businesses wanting to go electric. Changes to the schemes, for example making it easier for consumers living in apartments to access the grant, are welcome and are reflective of industry asks.
On the consultation, the UK’s EV charging sector, comprised of those operating, installing, and manufacturing chargers along with those providing payments, telecoms, and other services to the industry, has been working hard to ensure consumers are able to use an open, reliable, and simple-to-use charging network.
The national charging network is comprised of over 40 charge point operators using a range of equipment, back-office software, and payment systems. It is a new industry which is experiencing rapid growth in order to meet future demand.
The REA sees a key role for government to baseline expectations for how these market players should operate. Specifically, the REA supports Government interventions that will:
- Ensure consumers have clear bills and can understand what they have paid for in a charging session,
- Ensure that chargers are well maintained so that consumers can be confident that the chargers will work as expected,
- Ensure basic market information is accessible to consumers so they can locate chargers, understand how much sessions cost, and thereby make decisions around which chargers they want to use,
- Ensure drivers can access any charger simply, with more charging networks ‘roaming’ with each other to reduce the number of apps and cards needed to access different networks.
It is important that Government intervenes just enough that the sector is regulated, but not so much that it prevents market growth, development and innovation.
The sector is also keen to ensure that disabled drivers and more vulnerable persons are able to easily locate charge points in their area that are suitable.
Commenting on the consultation, Daniel Brown, Head of Transport at the REA said:
“An open, reliable, and simple-to-navigate charging network is crucial if we are to keep the confidence of individual drivers and fleets and take electric vehicles into the mainstream.
“We welcome Government setting baseline expectations and ‘guard rails’ for the industry to deliver on.
“The EV charging sector, however, is a complex blend of telecoms, electricity provision, payments, real estate, and hardware and we would caution against interventions that would stymie innovation that will benefit consumers and be the backbone of emerging British brands.
“We look forward to working with Government on the detail around how reliability will be monitored, payments more standardised, and exactly what types of data will be made open, and to whom.”
Commenting on the extension of the grant schemes, Daniel Brown said:
“The EV Homecharge Scheme and Workplace Charging Scheme have helped make charging accessible and affordable to private drivers and businesses over the years. We welcome the extension and expanded scope of these schemes. The changes show that Government is closely listening to, and working with, industry in order to achieve our common goal of Net Zero.
For more information or to request an interview, please contact
Jack Abbott – [email protected]
Notes to editors
- The Government’s press statement can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/support-for-small-businesses-landlords-and-leaseholders-government-charges-up-the-electric-vehicle-revolution-with-50-million-boost
About the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA)
The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (known as the REA) is the UK’s largest trade association for renewable energy and clean technologies with around 550 members operating across heat, transport, power, and natural capital. The REA is a not-for-profit organisation representing fourteen sectors, ranging from biogas and renewable transport fuels to solar and electric vehicle charging. Membership ranges from major multinationals to sole traders.
For more information, visit: www.r-e-a.net
About the REA’s Electric Vehicle Forum
The REA’s EV Forum is comprised of around 85 companies involved in financing, installing, operating, manufacturing, and providing services to the UK’s EV charging infrastructure market. The REA additionally serves as secretariat to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Electric Vehicles.
For more information, visit: https://www.r-e-a.net/our-members-forum/electric-vehicles/