Government unveils plan to boost smart vehicle charging – here’s what housing developers need to know

Thrings Clean Energy electric cars

As a result of The Electric Vehicle Smart Charging Action Plan, electrical vehicle (EV) consumers are set to benefit from lower energy bills and cheaper motoring.

The Government has announced plans to unlock the potential of smart electric vehicle charging in the UK, allowing motorists to efficiently and more cost-effectively charge their cars as well as powering their homes using the electricity stored in their electric cars.

But what does this mean for the developers, such as housebuilders, and their obligations to install EV charging points?

What is the current requirement for EV charging points? Developers already have a requirement to install EV points. In June 2022, changes to building regulations stipulate every new-build home and non-residential building should have at least one electric vehicle charge point, with numbers varying according to the number of parking spaces and dwellings. All home and workplace chargers should also have smart charging capabilities.

What’s changed with the latest announcement?

The Government’s new announcement sets out plans to increase the use of smart charging, which deliver significant benefits, including allowing motorists to charge electric vehicles when electricity is cheaper or cleaner (for example, at night).

Standard EV charging occurs during electricity system peak times – usually when people arrive home from work between 5pm and 7pm. This requires electrical capacity to meet demand, with the costs falling on the customers and housebuilders who install the chargers.

Depending on tariff, mileage and charging patterns, smarter charging could save an average driver up to £200 and a high mileage driver up to £1000 per year, by charging during off peak periods.

By helping to balance where energy is generated and used on the electricity grid, the technology could contribute to reducing electricity prices for consumers across the network.

Because of this, we expect the use of smart charging to rise in years to come and this combined with increased consumer demand for electric vehicles means housebuilders that recognise the potential for smart vehicle charging will put themselves ahead of competitors.

What are the key points of the Government’s announcement?

The key takeaways are:

  • £16 million in funding will go towards increasing the number of charging units with smart charging capabilities
  • This encourages charging when electricity is cheaper or cleaner
  • Motorists can power their home using electricity stored in their EV or sell it back to the grid for a profit
  • The Government aims to make smart charging the norm at home and work by 2025

What are the advantages for housing developers of the new rules?

Homeowners are more energy conscious than ever before, with the energy efficiency of their next home purchase more important to them than it was a year ago due to rising energy prices and environmental concerns. Smart charging points could have a significant influence over their decision to buy a new-build.

To reach the UK’s ambitious target of becoming Net Zero by 2050, it is clear smart charging should become an integral part of housebuilding efforts.

Green development, the Journey to Net Zero and its implications for developers will be one of the topics at our Clean Energy launch event on Tuesday, January 24th. For more information on the event, and to register, visit here.

Thrings’ Clean Energy and Environment Team advises developers and landowners on the legal aspects of clean energy, environment and biodiversity. We are here to support you on your pathway to Net Zero. Find out more and contact us here.

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