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  • Writer's pictureArun Gopinath

UK Government outlines draft new regulations governing public charge points in Parliament

Electric Vehicle  Charging Station
EV Charging Station

The UK Government has laid the draft of the Public Charge Point Regulations 2023 in Parliament on 11 July 2023. These regulations set out the requirements for the future of public electric vehicle (EV) charging and extend to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The draft regulations will improve the experience of people who use the public charging network, and who make long journeys. Improving reliable and straightforward access to the public charging network for this group is crucial to encouraging the uptake of EVs.

The draft regulation requires:

a) Contactless Payments Contactless payment for all new public charge points with a power of 8kW and above and existing rapid public charge points with a power of 50kW and above within one year of the regulations coming into force.

b) Payment Roaming Payment roaming will be required through this instrument within two years of the draft regulations coming into force date, to enable drivers to use a single app or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) card across multiple charge point networks. Charge point operators must ensure that they connect to at least one third-party roaming provider.

c) Reliability The draft regulations will also require 99% reliability for each charge point operator’s network of rapid charge points, measured as an annual average. A 24/7 free-to-use staffed telephone helpline must also be offered for all public charge points to support consumers struggling to charge.

d) Clarity in pricing The draft regulation requires charge point operators to use pence per kilowatt hour (p/kWh) as the standard pricing metric for all public charge points, to be displayed either on the charge point or through a separate device. This will enable consumers to compare prices and ensure they are getting value for money as a result and allows for the ongoing use of innovative bundling solutions such as for charging combined with parking and other services, so long as the charging component is displayed in p/kWh.

e) Open Data The draft regulation will open up EV charge point data by requiring that charge point operators make their data publicly available through the Open Charge Point Interface Protocol (OCPI) data requirement. This will open up reference data for example location data and availability data to the public. It will require that charge point operators open their reference data, such as location and payment method offered, and charge point availability data for the public and government bodies. This will enable consumers to access availability data to find out if a charge point is in use and working before they arrive.

We welcome the regulations as it makes considerable progress from the state of the EV charging market, as existing, in making the charging experience for the end user frictionless and improving consumer confidence in electric cars. The requirements for open data will be better for all parties in the EV charging ecosystem.

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