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New legislation aims to enhance public electric vehicle charging experience

Updated: Jul 16, 2023

New legislation in Parliament has been widely praised for its intention to improve the experience of using public electric vehicle (EV) chargers.

These regulations mandate the implementation of contact payment options, payment roaming, and most importantly, reliability.

Andrew Wescott, Director of Sustainability & Regulation at Addison Lee, expressed his support for the legislation, stating that cost, reliability, and availability of network chargers continue to be significant obstacles to widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Wescott welcomed the Government's efforts to enhance the EV charging experience through payment roaming and improved reliability. However, he also highlighted the need for the Government to collaborate with charging providers in order to address the pricing disparities within the network, as well as review the current VAT arrangements that create a two-tier system between those with home charging provision and those reliant on the charging network.

Wescott said: “Cost, reliability, and availability of network chargers remain the greatest barriers to mass adoption of electric vehicles. We welcome the Government’s mandate to improve the experience of EV charging through payment roaming and improved reliability.

“The Government must now work with charging providers to address the discrepancies in the cost of charging on the network and review the current VAT arrangements that create a two tier system between those who have home charging provision, and those who rely on the charging network.”

Spokesperson Simon Williams, responsible for electric vehicles at the RAC, also reacted positively to the new legislation. Williams emphasised the importance of improving drivers' experience at public chargers and praised the government for taking clear actions to address this issue.

Williams said: “We’re pleased to see the Government has acknowledged there’s a need to improve drivers’ experience at public chargers and has now set out some clear actions to address this. This has the potential to reassure many more people that switching to an electric vehicle makes sense, which is vital the closer we get to 2030 when the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will end. Ensuring drivers only need to download and use a single app is a huge step forward from where we are today.

“We hope operators of rapid and ultra-rapid charging hubs will not just clearly display pence per kilowatt hour prices on chargers themselves but also on prominent digital signage similar to fuel price ‘totems’ which drivers are already very familiar with. We believe this is needed to make price comparisons easy for everyday EV drivers looking to charge up as cheaply as possible on a journey.”


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