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DfT looking to create standard format for real-time EV charging data

Image: Getty.

Image: Getty.

The government is looking into making information on all public chargepoints openly available in a standard format for the first time, it says.

Information including locations, power ratings and whether chargepoints are in working order would be included, with the Department for Transport (DfT) to look at how this real-time information could be published.

This could then be used by developers and incorporated into sat navs and route mapping apps, DfT said.

The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce, which unveiled its 21 proposals for transport electrification last week, outlined the need for a single asset register of public chargepoints, which would include information on location, type, status, capacity, price and availability.

The government established the National Chargepoint Registry in 2011, an open source of data for public chargepoints. However, only publicly funded chargepoints are required to be uploaded.

Companies such as Zap-Map also provide information including charging speeds, location and status of EV chargers across the UK, with Zap-Map recently adding voice command functionality through Google Assistant.

Future of Transport Minister, George Freeman, said that supporting the smart use of open data for new apps is “key” to accelerating UK leadership in digitalization and decarbonisation through DfT’s future of transport strategy.

“Comprehensive chargepoint data is crucial for mapping charging hotspots and notspots for consumers, to help to drive forward the electric vehicle revolution.”

DfT also announced it will be increasing government funding for the installation of chargers on residential streets to £10 million next year, which the department said could fund up to another 3,600 chargepoints across the country.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said DfT’s announcements will help drivers easily locate and use affordable, reliable chargepoints.

“We want to make electric cars the new normal, and ensuring drivers have convenient places to charge is key to that,” Shapps added.

Daniel Brown, policy manger and EV lead at the Renewable Energy Association, said that whilst the REA is “pleased” to see the announcement, “all eyes are now looking to the forthcoming Budget and National Infrastructure Strategy”, which it hopes will see many of the taskforce proposals actioned.

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