Last edited 21 Apr 2021

Main author

ECA Institute / association Website

Opportunities for EV charging

ElectricVehicles2030.jpg

Contents

[edit] Introduction

EV drivers need to know they can rely on the UK public charging network on any journey.

[edit] Status of charging point availability

In April 2021, ECA responded to consultation from the Government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) on how to improve ‘the EV driver experience’ at public charge points.

By the end of 2020, there were over 20,000 public EV chargers of all types in the UK, of which 3,880 were rapid devices, the latter typically delivering up to 145 miles of range in 15 minutes. OZEV wants to encourage innovative approaches to payment, while ensuring that charging is as straightforward and reliable as refuelling a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.

The Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018 enables the Government to legislate to improve consumer charging and boost the provision of public charging. OZEV is now looking to introduce rules that will:

[edit] ECA recommendations

In its response (drawn up with the input of ECA members including representatives from the Net Zero Group), ECA advised OZEV that card payment capability should be mandatory for DC rapid and ultra-rapid chargers up to 350kW. ECA added they should also mandate roaming across networks to enable consumers to access all public charge points with one membership card or smartphone app.

The organisation concluded the best way to enable roaming is to require charging point operators (CPOs) to open their networks to third parties and each other and supported the further proposal to mandate CPOs to provide 24/7 call centres. Additionally, ECA agreed that CPOs should be given flexibility to set their own charges and commercial arrangements while supporting ‘p/kWh’ as the primary charge point measure. This will allow the public, and everyone else, to easily understand the cost of what’s being delivered.

ECA advised OLEV that the best way forward is to develop the necessary standards and protocols for these changes with the wider EV charging industry, keeping the technicalities away from the legislation itself/ This should help the industry adapt to imminent and future technology and trends.

[edit] EV opportunities

In 2021, EV charging is seen as a ‘clear and present opportunity’ for the electrical and datacomms sector, with much more to come. More rapid chargers and a positive customer charging experience will boost customer and government confidence to provide a virtuous circle - promoting yet further and faster roll-out across the UK.

ECA’s focus on ensuring installation safety, reliability and functionality supports this vision but it is also necessary to find enough competent installers to deliver a safe, efficient and growing system. Increasingly, this won’t just mean delivering new charging installations, but it will also apply to providing safe and reliable service support for what’s been installed across the country.

Add to this the need for contracts and payment arrangements that work not just for CPOs but also for the contractor supply chain, and it becomes clear why ECA is helping to shape national policy on the UK EVCP roll-out.

Members of the public are welcome to access ECA’s Green Pivot guidance document, which features information about the skills, training and frameworks that can help them make the most of the UK’s net zero carbon opportunities.


This article originally appeared on the ECA website under the headline, 'Clear, present and future opportunities for EV charging'. It was written by Paul Reeve, ECA Director of CSR and published on 20 April 2021.

--ECA

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