The UK’s electric vehicle rapid charging network will be required to have a 99% reliability rate and offer real-time status updates under new laws set to be introduced in the coming months.
The new Public Charge Point regulations, published in draft form, are intended to improve the charging experience for EV owners. Ministers hope the new regulations, which were first announced before a public consultation last year, will eradicate range anxiety and create a “world-class” charging grid.
The new rules set a minimum standard for public charge reliability of 99%, putting an emphasis on firms to ensure that units are durable and capable of constant use. At the same time, all chargers will be required to produce real-time data on their status, offering greater information to potential users.
Charging firms will also be required to increase the availability of contactless payment systems. All new public chargers that are faster than 8kW must offer contactless payments, removing the need for drivers to use a smartphone app. In addition, firms will be required to allow customers to pay via a third-party provider.
Charging firms must also clearly display the cost of using a unit in pence per kilowatt hour either on the charger itself or through a separate device that can be accessed without a contract.
Under the new regulations, charging firms could be fined up to £10,000 for each unit that fails to comply with the requirements.
Ian Johnston, the boss of Osprey Charging and the head of new charge point industry body Charge UK, said the industry "welcomes these regulations". He added: "The public charging industry is committed to making the UK the best place to charge an EV. Consumer confidence in charging infrastructure is vital and we look forward to working with the government to implement these regs over the coming months."
AA president Edmund King said the reliability requirement and live charge information "will help show drivers in real time the benefits of driving electric”.
When the legislation was announced in 2022, the government also confirmed a £1.6 billion investment in 300,000 new charge points across the country, which, the government says, would be five times as many traditional fuel pumps currently in operation. These will be operational by 2030 and spread across the country, it promises.