The office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) has closed their consultation regarding electric vehicle charge points in residential and non-residential buildings.
If acted upon, the proposed changes will lead to the installation of hundreds of thousands of EV charging points in new build homes and commercial buildings in England. This will heavily increase EV adoption and is sure to make owning an electric car much more attractive to UK drivers.
These changes could however create a new challenge for suppliers and developers of charging stations as, they would need to provide 100% active charging provision in their residential developments for the first time since the development of electric vehicles. The must also be careful to manage the associated power supply costs in the process.
History of charging infrastructure
Until now, local planning policies have held the responsibility of providing charging infrastructure. However, planning can be flexible with the introduction of charging provision often subject to negotiation on local authorities’ priorities.
What are the proposed changes of the consultation?
The consultation proposes changes to increase the amount of charging infrastructure installed in new, later and some existing developments. It also claims to ensure consistent enforcement throughout the UK.
By amending the Building Regulations, the inclusion of charging infrastructure is no longer subject to negotiation and will be applicable across the whole of England.
Policy changes summary
- All new residential buildings with an associated parking space will have to have a charge point.
- Every residential building undergoing major renovation with more than 10 car parking spaces to have cable routes for charge points in every parking space.
New Non-Residential Buildings:
- Every new non-residential building with less than 10 parking spaces must have 1 charge point and cable routes for charge points for 1 in 5 spaces.
Existing Non-Residential Buildings:
- At least 1 charge point in existing non-residential buildings with more than 20 parking spaces from 2025
With the exception of the plan for new residential buildings. These proposals match the requirements of the European Union’s Energy Performance Directive (EPBD).
It is the plan to install charge points in essentially every new residential parking space that is the most noteworthy.
Will the changes actually be implemented?
Based on APG’s engagement before and during this consultation, we think the changes proposed in the consultation are likely to be implemented because:
- The most significant costs are incurred in increasing electrical capacity to provide the charging infrastructure; Costs that will be incurred even if only cable routes are required.
- Including charging points creates an opportunity to offer complete, load-balanced charging systems that can actually reduce total costs, when compared with allowing residents to pick an assortment of different charging points.
- A charging point in your parking space is a much more potent incentive to go electric than the capability to have a charge point installed in future.
What challenges will developers face?
if enacted, the changes in the consultation will create the following challenges for developers:
- Additional costs – Providing the level of EV charging proposed in the consultation would significantly impact the electrical capacity required for a development. This can create material extra cost but if a charging solution with load balancing is used, this cost can be minimised.
- Ongoing operational complexity – After the charging infrastructure is installed, it needs to be managed on an ongoing basis by the building management. This can be made much easier when a smart solution that includes usage reporting and billing is used.
- Reliability and user experience – As well as complying with the new regulations on a technical level, it’s important that charge points are installed which are reliable and easy to use for drivers on a day-to-day basis.
How should developers prepare?
If the proposed reg changes go through, residential developers will have to prepare to include charging infrastructure at a scale as yet unseen in their developments.
However, even if the reg changes are softened, the uptake of electric vehicles through the 2020s is likely to be significant. EVs are coming one way or another, and they’ll have a major impact on the way that homes are built.
This means that developers need to fully understand the increasing expectation of residents that charging will be available and should be planning to include it within all developments that include parking anyway.
Have any more questions?
If you have any questions or would like some advice, speak to a member of our expert team today. We have built up a huge reputation around Lancashire and the surrounding areas. Whether you need home charging, workplace charging or commercial charging, we are certain that we will be able to help you.