All home electric car chargers need to be smart from next week – May not ‘go far enough’

All home electric car chargers need to be smart from next week – May not ‘go far enough’


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New Government benchmarks come into effect on June 30, meaning all home and workplace electric car chargers need to have smart charging capability. The new regulations are intended to help manage the strain on the National Grid with thousands of electric cars charging at once.

The changes are also designed to adapt to the new demands of EVs and encourage drivers towards using smarter tariffs to avoid charging during peak hours.

As a result of the changes, all smart chargers need to have a data connection that has the ability to measure and transmit records so that drivers can view their charging history.

These set out minimum standards for all home and workplace chargepoints sold in England, Scotland and Wales from that date, whereas previous rules had only applied to units funded by OZEV grant schemes.

The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021 were signed into law on December 15, 2021. 

They will be brought into effect from June 30, 2022, except for the security requirements in schedule one, which will be brought into effect from December 30, 2022.

Mike Coulton, EV Consultant at Volkswagen Financial Services UK, spoke to about whether the new Government regulations will have a meaningful impact.

He said: “It is great to see regulations being put in place with the right intentions, however, I’m not sure some go far enough. 

“As an example, non-residential buildings meeting certain criteria will need to have at least one charge point fitted (known as ‘active’ provision in London), and cabling (known as ‘passive’ provision) for one in five spaces. 

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“However, it is the cabling that is really difficult and expensive to do retrospectively, but relatively easy and cost effective to do up front. 

“To that end, I don’t believe one in five for cabling goes far enough, given the anticipated uptake of EVs over the coming years.

“I would like to see cabling put in place for one in two spaces, so that in the future a ‘twin socket’ charger can easily be installed to supply both spaces.”

Earlier this week, the Government introduced new rules mandating that all new homes and buildings needed to have an electric vehicle charge point installed.

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This also applies to buildings undergoing major renovations.

Smart chargers allow drivers to select when they can charge their car to ensure it has sufficient energy levels for when they need it.

This is particularly useful if they have an EV-friendly home tariff, with some offering drivers the chance to save hundreds or even thousands of pounds per year.

New chargepoints will be pre-configured to avoid charging during peak hours, between 8am and 11am and between 4pm and 10pm on weekdays.

Drivers will still be able to charge during peak times, but the idea of the new regulations is to lighten the load on the National Grid.

In 2020, the National Grid clarified that there is enough energy to deal with the increasing number of electric vehicles on UK roads.

Graeme Cooper, Transport Decarbonisation Director at the National Grid, clarified that “the grid can cope easily” even with the increased strain.

He pointed to the growth in renewable energy, allowing smart metering to make it more efficient, highlighting the impact offshore wind farms were having.

One of the largest home charging companies, Ohme, has already ensured drivers that its Home Pro charger is fully compliant ahead of the regulations.

The new smart chargers will also randomly delay charging by up to ten minutes to reduce any spikes in demand.

They are also offering drivers the option to charge their car when renewable energy generation on the National Grid is at its highest, further lowering their CO2 impact.

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