Currently reading: Standardised EV fast chargers to be dropped after Brexit
'Irrelevant' charger design was to be used for all EV fast chargers across the EU, but the UK will now be free to adopt a more market-friendly design

An EU directive that will standardise rapid-charging EV points in favour of a design that is not common in the UK is set to be an early casualty of the Brexit vote.

Due to be written into UK law this October, the directive has attracted criticism from both the EV industry and UK government and is likely to be quietly shelved as unnecessary.

"This is a piece of bureaucracy that this industry, which is still in its infancy, doesn’t need," said David Martell, boss of Chargemaster, which makes and supplies EV chargers from its Luton-based and factory. "It doesn’t make any point and we want to see it dropped." 

The new EU law, which is known as the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure directive, has been in discussion since at least 2014 and was intended to force member states to establish an EU-wide EV charging network, along with facilities for compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) depots.

But with no funding to back it, the directive attracted little support from member states, Autocar has been told.

The directive makes the Combined Charging System (CCS) plug – a design adopted largely by German car makers – a legal requirement for any publicly available rapid charger.

However, the UK has a large fleet of Nissan Leaf and Renault EVs, which each use different rapid-charging plugs, so the directive is seen as irrelevant to the UK's EV market. Nissan uses the Japanese Chademo standard for DC fast-charging.

"People could have ended up in prison just for not having the right plug on a public charger," added Martell.

"There’s no legislation that says an iPhone or whatever should have a certain type of plug, so why is that necessary for an EV? It doesn’t make sense."

Chargemaster is poised to announce an expansion of the number of 50kW rapid chargers it has available in its 4000-strong Polar network and hopes a partnership announced with the AA last week will boost numbers even more.

Last week the AA and Chargemaster announced a tie-up that will reduce the cost of a home charger to £300 (after a government subsidy) and give members discounted access to the Polar network.

The next step is to install chargers at the AA-accredited hotel network, once there have been negotiations with hoteliers.

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Onlineo 13 December 2019

Hasn't this article aged well

Hasn't this article aged well lol.

A common charging standard is imperative. No idea how Lexus can be planning to launch a chademo car in 2020 when all others except for the Leaf are CCS.

jpm 7 September 2016

There's a little more to it…

The option of CCS was not made by the EU because it is German, it was because it is fundamentally able to deliver higher charge rates than CHAdeMO (a Japanese standard) can.

There's no question within the industry that CCS represents the better solution for future plug-in cars, which will likely be equipped with large batteries and therefore require faster charge rates in order to avoid inconvenient amounts of time plugged in. The EU absolutely got it right to back CCS.

realgreenie 13 September 2016

watch 4 Nissan/Renault news at PARIS motor show

Autocar (and chargemaster) should have dine their research before this article. Perhaps have a look at charinev.org

Also the author here should be forced to correct this factually incorrect article because the EU regulation mandates CCS plugs as part of rapid charge stations. It doesn't ban Tesla Superchargers or Chademo etc. To imply otherwise is a lie.

martinwinlow 9 July 2016

I'm all for standardization

I'm all for standardization and this was probably one thing that the EU had right. ChargeMaster are making a mountain out of a molehill here. Its not like CCs uses lemon juice to charge EVs. All CM need to add is an extra plug and cable and a bit more signalling electronics to their rapid chargers to make them compatible with CCS.

As for mobile devices, contactless charging (ie inductive) is the way to go which saves messing around with fiddly plugs and messy cables and is completely cross-platfor compatible. No brainer.