Rapid electric vehicle charging networks will be required to have a 99% reliability rate as part of a new set of regulations.
The new rules, outlined in the Public Charge Point Regulations 2023, aim to improve the charging experience for EV owners.
According to the new regulations, for a new public charge point with a power of 8 kilowatts or above, a charge point operator must, within one year from the date on which these regulations come into force, ensure that a person using that charge point is able to pay by contactless payment to charge an electric vehicle.
The regulations, which have only been published in draft form, will also require rapid charge point networks to have a reliability rate of 99%. A rapid charge point is considered to be reliable for the purposes of calculating compliance with the reliability requirement where it is either working, available, charging or reserved.
Charge point operators (CPOs) will also be required to be transparent about their pricing, have roaming deals with third parties within two years and ensure that all chargers have 24/7 helplines.
Edmund King, AA president, said: “A 99% reliability requirement and live charge point information will help show drivers in real-time the benefits of driving electric. This has the potential to reassure many more people that switching to an electric vehicle makes sense, which is vital the closer we get to 2030 when the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will end.
“Ensuring drivers only need to download and use a single app is a huge step forward from where we are today.
“We hope operators of rapid and ultra-rapid charging hubs will not just clearly display pence per kilowatt hour prices on chargers themselves but also on prominent digital signage similar to fuel price ‘totems’ which drivers are already very familiar with.
“We believe this is needed to make price comparisons easy for everyday EV drivers looking to charge up as cheaply as possible on a journey.”
Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder & COO at Zapmap, said: “I’m very pleased that the 2023 Public Charge Point Regulations are now up for debate in Parliament – and many electric car drivers will be too.
“From easy payment through to chargers you know will work when you get to them, these are issues which have been highlighted for many years.
“Whether it’s showing the live status of charge points, if they are in use, in service or otherwise, or whether it’s our cross-network payment solution Zap-Pay, Zapmap has led the way in identifying and addressing the needs of EV drivers.
“It’s great to see these concerns now being addressed by Parliament, which will lead to more collaboration across the industry.
“Stepping back, the shift to electric vehicles is crucial if we are to meet our net zero targets. And these regulations will support this transition by boosting confidence in the public charging network.”