The UK Government has introduced new regulations which are aiming for rapid EV chargers to achieve 99% reliability.
The new legislation aims to tackle various different areas. These include payments, pricing, data and reliability.
The document read that “the reliability requirement is that the network of rapid chargepoints is, on average, reliable for 99% of the time during each calendar year”.
Reliability of EV chargers had been a major discussion point in recent months, as covered in a Current± Briefings: Maintaining EV charging confidence through maintenance webinar earlier this year.
Already challenges around chargepoint availability are emerging, with one example provided by Techniche highlighting a hub that saw a queue of over 40 cars forming and some waiting over six hours to charge over the Christmas period of 2022/23.
Whilst the number of chargepoints needs to increase, the availability of those already installed will also need to improve.
The tools used to manage maintenance of EV chargepoints are often immature, and it’s usually carried out manually, allowing inaccuracies to creep in and taking a significant amount of time to inform all the relevant parties needed to begin to fix the asset, for example.
Turning our attention back to the new legislation, the document also includes the requirement for new public chargepoints to incorporate contactless payment within one year from the date of the regulations coming into force.
Existing chargepoints will also need to introduce contactless payment within one year of the legislation’s introduction. Introducing contactless payment across the board will enable greater accessibility for many EV drivers.
This could help increase EV adoption amongst drivers and support the scaling of the EV industry within the UK.
Alongside this, the legislation aims to introduce payment roaming to reduce the number of apps, pricing transparency and open chargepoint data including live availability data.
Commenting on the announcement, Edmund King, AA president, said: “This is a welcome step and are pleased that the government has listened to our requests to create more confidence when charging away from home.
“A 99% reliability requirement and live chargepoint information will help show drivers in real-time the benefits of driving electric.
“For three years we have helped several chargepoint providers with our EV Support Service. By providing 24-hour telephone assistance for drivers at a chargepoint, we can help get them back on the road again.”
Responding to the introduction of contatcless payment necessity, Ken McMeikan, CEO at Moto Hospitality, said: “I’m delighted to see that Department for Transport is stepping in to address this issue which we know causes significant frustration for EV drivers. It comes not a moment too soon as we fast approach the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars. What we need to see now is action as well as words – EV drivers need this now not in three years time.
“At Moto, we’ve been focused on making access to our network as simple as possible from the outset with contactless payment across all our Ultra Rapid, up to 350kW, GRIDSERVE charging points.”