A new set of laws by the UK Government in the coming months will require the country’s electric vehicle public rapid charging network to have a 99% reliability rate and offer real-time status updates.
As the EVs become more and more common on UK roads and the uptake amongst drivers increases, the public charging network will also have to evolve to sustain the demand. With this new law, EV charge points will now be more reliable, have clearer pricing structures, and have easier payment systems in place.
The Public Charge Point Regulations 2023 states that every year, EV charge point operators need to show the devices on their networks have a reliability average of almost 100%.
They will also be required to increase the availability of contactless payment systems. All new public chargers that are faster than 8kW must offer contactless payments, removing the need for drivers to use a smartphone app. In addition, firms will be required to allow customers to pay via a third-party provider.
Charging firms must also clearly display the cost of using a unit in pence per kilowatt hour either on the charger itself or through a separate device that can be accessed without a contract.
In case of the charge points failing to meet these criteria and then no suitable fix being provided for the issue, operators could face fines anywhere between £10,000 and £250,000.
The new legislation and the introduction of an open data source will also look to transform the mapping of public charge points. This means that it will be easier for EV owners to plan their journeys and remove range anxiety.
Ian Johnston, the boss of Osprey Charging and the head of new charge point industry body Charge UK, said the industry “welcomes these regulations”. He added: “The public charging industry is committed to making the UK the best place to charge an EV. Consumer confidence in charging infrastructure is vital and we look forward to working with the government to implement these regs over the coming months.”
AA president Edmund King said the reliability requirement and live charge information “will help show drivers in real time the benefits of driving electric”.