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Government sets July 2019 date for smart EV charging deadline

Image: Getty.

Image: Getty.

The government has confirmed that only ‘smart’ electric vehicle chargepoints can be installed from July next year.

In an announcement this morning, roads minister Jesse Norman and automotive minister Richard Harrington confirmed the phase-out date for older generation EV chargers, fulfilling a policy pledge first unveiled in October last year.

The government defines smart chargers as those which can be remotely accessed and capable of receiving, interpreting and acting on signals. Those capabilities will allow EV charging patterns to be remotely assessed and managed by a third-party, essentially protecting distribution grids from surges in demand.

In October last year the Department for Transport published its draft Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which established a number of broad stroke proposals for how the government planned to improve the country’s EV charging infrastructure.

The adoption of smart EV chargers formed a central point of that strategy and, now, the government has followed through by enforcing a firm deadline for their installation.

Harrington said: “Today’s measures will make it easier for consumers to move towards electric vehicles, helping us power towards a cleaner, greener future.”

Meanwhile, the government has also confirmed that it will maintain domestic and workplace charging grants at the current level of £500 per point.

David Smith, chief executive at the Energy Networks Association, said smart chargepoints were “critical” to managing the country’s EV rollout.

“Without them there could be a proliferation of non-smart chargepoints that take capacity from the electricity networks, with no opportunity to manage the associated load.

“That could lead to the need to build expensive new infrastructure that could otherwise be avoided by the work that electricity networks are doing to build a smarter, more flexible energy system.”

The deadline is, however, expected to have a minimal impact on the EV infrastructure sector, with most manufacturers having already brought smart chargers to market.

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