Business

New EV charging legislation a win-win for businesses and drivers

As the EV charging landscape has continued to evolve, a growing concern for drivers has been price transparency and visibility at charge points
As the EV charging landscape has continued to evolve, a growing concern for drivers has been price transparency and visibility at charge points As the EV charging landscape has continued to evolve, a growing concern for drivers has been price transparency and visibility at charge points

WITH more and more drivers switching to electric vehicles, the UK government’s roll-out of new EV charging legislation in November has shown much-needed commitment to raising the EV charging industry standard and building drivers’ confidence around access to infrastructure and therefore encouraging more drivers to go electric.

Despite some confusion around the roll-out of the new law, the enhanced standards for EV charging apply to all organisations offering public EV charge points of 8kW or above. This is not just limited to large charge point network operators, but indeed small, independent owners including businesses like hotels, attractions and car parks offering convenient charge point access for guests and customers at a cost.

But as the EV charging landscape has continued to evolve, a growing concern for drivers has been price transparency and visibility at charge points. Drivers have noted the cost of their charge increasing mid-charge, or the general inability to find accurate pricing information at the point of charging.

The new legislation will require charge point operators to clearly display the price of charging in pence per kWh on the charge point or a separate device which does not require a person to have entered a pre-existing contract with its operator. This move will help to clear up pricing confusion and costs changing mid-charge, benefitting drivers through a simpler, more transparent experience. It will be up to charge point owners to ensure pricing information remains up to date and clearly visible through signage or digital displays on or near the charge point.

The legislation also states that operators will also be required to ensure a user can pay via contactless payments. Charge points must also now have the capability of roaming with at least one partner, whether through a roaming provider or direct connection to another network.

The responsibility for implementing on-site contactless payment points will fall on charge point owners, and – along with the legislation around pricing and transparency – owners can accrue penalties of up to £10,000 for each non-compliant charge point.

To enhance confidence and infrastructure performance, charge point owners must ensure their charge points are reliable for 99% of each calendar year. They will be required to submit a report to the Secretary of State annually detailing each location’s performance and must also provide a free of charge, 24-hour, helpline to allow users to seek assistance.

Data legislation will also mandate that essential information including location details, availability status and reference information for public charge points is collected, maintained accurately and relevantly shared with relevant bodies and the public on request.

While all this new legislation could feel like a burden for independent charge point owners, the team at Wilson Power & Energy is delighted to see government support for driving professionalism and industry standards for EV charging.

It will ultimately be important for growing driver confidence and encouraging EV adoption and will offer an opportunity for EV charge point owners to grow confidence and affinity within their customer bases, offering the highest standard of EV charging experience, and ultimately avoiding the hefty fines that come with non-compliance.

We are supporting EV charge point clients across the UK and Ireland with installation and support, including optional back-office management systems which can manage usage for employees, the public, or as a service and help suppliers comply with new legislation.

:: Andrew Wilson (hello@wilsonpowerandenergy.com) is owner and director of Wilson Power & Energy (www.wilsonpowerandenergy.com)