As the electric car market continues to grow, capturing an 18% market share, there is an increasing demand for public charging infrastructure. To address this need and make the usage of public EV chargers more convenient for consumers, the government has implemented new regulations.
The key feature of the recently introduced Public Charge Point Regulations is the requirement for 99% chargepoint reliability. This addresses a long-standing issue with EV chargers, as a government study conducted in 2019 revealed that approximately 8% of public chargepoints were faulty or out of order. The new regulations mandate all charge point operators (CPOs) to offer round-the-clock assistance for customers and provide real-time information regarding chargepoint status and availability.
Another significant change in the laws focuses on payment and transparency. CPOs will soon be obligated to display their current pricing in a standardized format of pence per kilowatt hour (p/kWh). Additionally, consumers will no longer need to clutter their smart devices with multiple apps, as all charge points will be required to accept contactless payment. This enables “payment roaming,” eliminating the need to create an account with each CPO.
It is important to note that these changes will not be implemented overnight. CPOs have a year to comply with these new regulations, and they are not required to publish their data to the Department for Transport (DfT) until 2025.
In response to these laws, Ian Johnston, Chairman of industry trade body ChargeUK and CEO of charge point provider Osprey, expressed his support: “ChargeUK members are dedicated to offering a reliable and consumer-friendly charging experience, making the UK the best place in the world to drive and charge an EV. We eagerly anticipate working with the government to ensure the success of these regulations, providing consumers with the confidence they need to transition to electric vehicles.”
It’s important to acknowledge that these regulations will not cover all public chargers. Those with a maximum charging rate of 8kW or below will be exempt from the requirement of contactless payment. The DfT justifies this decision by stating that “charge points slower than 8kW tend to be located in local on-street settings and are usually used habitually by drivers who are familiar with the payment app. Therefore, the immediate benefits of the additional cost associated with contactless payment are lower in these cases.”