The Department for Transport (DfT) has set a deadline of July 2019 for all government funded EV charge points to use ‘smart’ technology.
The announcement means that all government charge points must be remotely accessible and able to receive, interpret and react to a signal.
One major benefit of this initiative will be the ability for EVs to automatically charge when demand for electricity is low. Smart charging will also lessen the unsustainable peaks of electricity demand, helping the lower the cost of EVs to the National Grid and boosting off-peak charging
Since 2014, the government has offered grants to consumers who wish to install domestic charging points at their home. Since its introduction, more than 60,000 people have taken them up on the offer. The new smart policy being introduced will simply see more technologically advanced charging points installed by summertime.
The Government has shown their EV backing by announcing that they will maintain grants to install charge points at home and in the workplace at their current rate of up to £500, making charging more accessible for consumers and helping to make sure plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles can be used to their full potential.
Roads minister Jesse Norman said:
“The Government wants the UK to be the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle, and through leadership and innovation it is paving the way to a zero emission future.
“We have already supported the installation of over 100,000 home charge points. Now the measures announced today will give more people the opportunity to make the move to electric.”
Automotive minister Richard Harrington said:
“Today’s measures will make it easier for consumers to move towards electric vehicles, helping us power towards a cleaner, greener future.
“Through our modern Industrial Strategy and Automotive Sector Deal, we are investing to ensure the UK is the leading destination for the innovation and manufacture of electric vehicle batteries and technologies to help all parts of the UK reap the economic benefits of these innovations.”
Following the government’s trial to ban petrol and diesel cars from certain streets earlier this year, this EV announcement is certainly a signal of intent that they are keen to push their fight to improve air quality and keep their ‘Road to Zero’ pledge of half of all new cars being ultra-low emission by 2030 a reality.
While this initiative may add to the appeal of owning an electric vehicle, many will be questioning the Government’s latest move, following the decision to cut grants on electric vehicles back in October, but now opting to maintain them on charge points. Also, what does this mean for those that have already bought and installed a previous generation charging point? Will they be upgraded for free? Or will they be expected to fork out again on the latest technology?
As those in power continue to introduce new standards and rules, could this have an adverse effect on those thinking of making the switch, what will they do if the rules change again in 12 months time?