Car charging mandate for new homes

New homes in England will be required by law to install electric vehicle charging points from next year. The move comes as the UK aims to switch to electric cars, with new petrol and diesel cars sales banned from 2030.

Announcing the new laws at the Confederation of British Industry's conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "This is a pivotal moment – we cannot go on as we are. We have to adapt our economy to the green industrial revolution.”

An electric car can be charged from a standard three-pin plug but is more expensive and takes twice as long (20-24 hours) than a single-phase EV charging point.Using a three-phase EV charging point takes as little as 30 minutes, depending on the make and model of the car.

The National Federation of Builders has raised concerns about the proposed legislation, saying that house builders would need to fund substations in order for electricity suppliers to provide sufficient load to power the chargers.

“These costs are considerable – upwards of £50,000 for a handful of homes - and it is neither the builder, nor homeowner who profits from this infrastructure, it is the electricity companies who achieve revenue in perpetuity from someone else’s investment,” said NFB chief executive Richard Beresford.

There is also the concern that the type of charger being installed will not meet future grid or EV charging standards. The NFB has been calling on the Government to standardise EV charging infrastructure and grid strategy before mandating a solution which will require mass retrofitting.

Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing at the House Builders Association (HBA), the housebuilding arm of the NFB, said: “The Government needs to think very carefully about how it achieves a green revolution. It must require electricity companies to shoulder this cost, as they will be profiting from these investments in perpetuity. Or perhaps it is time to bring services into public ownership because the government is not proving able to regulate the sector in a way that doesn’t cost the taxpayer.”

22 November 2021

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