The EV industry has welcomed the UK Government’s announcement that owners of newly built homes and commercial buildings will need to instal electric vehicle (EV) charging points.
The new regulations will lead to 145,000 additional EV chargers installed across the UK every year, and it was announced a few weeks after Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed a COP26 declaration on phasing out fuel and diesel vehicles by 2040.
Commenting on the announcement, Erik Fairnbairn – who recently announced the admission to trading of his EV charging company Pod Point – called the government’s plans “exciting and very necessary”.
“The government has ambitious housebuilding policies and ensuring these future homes are fit for a sustainable future should rightly be central to these plans.”
“This new requirement also provides clarity to the construction community, not least planning authorities, design consultants, infrastructure providers and the housebuilders themselves, who have to date grappled with a lack of consistency across our regions.”
Sean Kemple, managing director at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said the move is fundamental if the country achieve its net zero targets.
“Without the quantity, and quality, of infrastructure needed to support the shift, the UK simply cannot meet its ambitious targets,” he said. “Millions more charging points are needed otherwise drivers won’t have the means nor the incentive to switch to an electric vehicle. It is heartening to see the government start to prioritise the development of high-quality, robust infrastructure.
Not everyone sang the government’s praises. According to Rory Bennett, real estate lawyer at Linklaters, if the country wants to achieve its green plans it has to focus not only on EV charging points.
“The UK needs to facilitate the means of producing the essential battery technology. This will require the government to adopt a holistic approach to ensure that the necessary facilities come on stream and for the thornier issues to be tackled, such as the use of land currently designated as green belt.”
Nicolas Bosetti, head of data at think tank Centre for London, stated that EVs will not solve London’s congestion problem.
“An EV traffic jam is still a traffic jam,” he said. “We should avoid building car parking spaces in new developments where possible and instead improve the availability of bus, tube and rail options, as well as access to bike and scooter hire.
“Where car parks are absolutely necessary, they should be designed so that they can be used for other purposes, once improvements to the wider transport network have been made.”