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PAYMENT ROAMING: Electric taxi and PHV drivers welcome changes to charge point regulations

Updated: Jul 16, 2023

Image credit: LEVC

Drivers of electric taxis will find much better charge point availability and the ease of use improved under new legislation from the Government.

Ministers have been engaging with the charging industry to try and improve the consumer experience but have now introduced the regulations because “only a subset of industry has made sufficient changes at the pace required”.

Under the new rules, companies will have to “provide contactless payment for all new public charge points with a power of 8kW and above and existing rapid public charge points with a power of 50kW|".

The provisions go on to say that: “Payment roaming will be required through this instrument within two years of the Regulations coming into force date, to enable drivers to use a single app or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) card across multiple charge point networks. Charge point operators must ensure that they connect to at least one third party roaming provider.”

Each charge point operator’s network of rapid charge points will also have to have 99% availability as measured across a year whilst “a 24/7 free to use staffed telephone helpline must also be offered for all public charge points to support consumers struggling to charge”.

The pricing metric for charging prices much be pence per kilowatt hour (p/kWh).

According to ministers there are now (as of 1 May 2023) 42,260 rapid charge points in the UK, up from 7,211 in 2017.

Responding to the announcement, Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Whatever the downsides of petrol and diesel cars the relative ease of refuelling is something that EVs have to match. A single app will help greatly. But this will still be dependent on drivers getting a signal on their mobile whenever and where-ever they decide to ‘fill up’ and at the moment our research shows there are still big holes in the mobile phone network. It’s not just drivers who need access to the phone network. To work properly, chargers too need to be able to connect.

“Technology might offer a solution to a lot of problems but only when it is 100% available.”

Andrew Wescott, Director of Sustainability & Regulation at Addison Lee, 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.”


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