24 July 2019

As of 1st July 2019, all government-funded electric vehicle (EV) home charging points must include “smart technology” in a bid to help EV and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) drivers reduce their costs.

The Government has said that wall chargers installed in homes will require smart features that encourage cheaper, off-peak charging and minimise the impact of EVs on the electricity system by reducing demand at peak times.

Transport Minister Michael Ellis said the new rules would keep costs to a minimum. He also said: “The Government wants the UK to be the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle, with leadership and innovation helping us pave the way to a zero-emission future. 

 Zero Emission Vehicle

“We’re in the driving seat of the zero-emission revolution. Our new requirements for charge points could help keep costs down, ensuring the benefits of green transport are felt by everyone.”

Following the news, industry leaders are already calling for the Government to roll out these new changes to workplace charging points as well. Daniel Brown from the Renewable Energy Association said: “As more of our power comes from renewable technologies such as wind and solar, it’s key that we increase the ‘flexibility’ of our energy system.

“Smart charging will be an important part of this in the future, allowing homes to benefit from new tariffs and bill-reducing technologies such as rooftop solar and battery storage.

“We welcome this move and hope the Government go a step further in the future, by mandating the smartness of all new charge points including those installed in workplaces and in public locations.”

It remains to be seen whether this is something that businesses will be able to benefit from, but in the Road to Zero strategy, the Government detailed that it would increase the grant level of the Workplace Charging Scheme from £300 per socket to 75% of the purchase and installation costs of a charge point, capped at a maximum of £500 per socket.

 Electric Vehicle Charging on Wall Socket

However, for companies that want to embrace new electric charging technology, there is currently help available. The Government has explained that an Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) is available for businesses investing in new EV charging or gas refuelling infrastructure, which lets businesses deduct the full cost from their profits, before tax. The ECA is also available for purchasing zero-emission goods vehicles. 

For businesses that are considering implementing a green fleet strategy, the Government has also said that to provide fleets with the support they need to make the switch to ultra-low emission vehicles, they will fund fleet reviews through the Energy Saving Trust.

The Energy Saving Trust programme will continue to focus on businesses that often lack the organisational capacity to take advantage of efficient fleet operations. With the potential implementation of Clean Air Zones, there is a growing need to ‘future proof’ smaller fleets and support local authorities in implementing measures that will facilitate achieving compliance within Clean Air Zone cities.

 

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Electric Vehicle Charging at Charging Point