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New smart charging regulations 'fundamental' to transition as consumer education becomes key EV focus

Euan Moir, regional manager UK & Nordics, Shell Recharge Solutions, spoke in the latest Current± Briefings about the new chargepoint regulations. Image: Shell Recharge Solution.

Euan Moir, regional manager UK & Nordics, Shell Recharge Solutions, spoke in the latest Current± Briefings about the new chargepoint regulations. Image: Shell Recharge Solution.

A key focus for the electric vehicle (EV) charging industry as new smart charging regulations start this month needs to be educating the public, according to Shell Recharge Solutions.

Speaking in the latest Current± Briefings, Euan Moir, regional manager UK & Nordics, explained that the new regulations – which are set to come in from 30 June – span three areas: default off-peak charging, random charging delay and demand side response (DSR) services.

The first of these requires all new chargepoints to offer customers a default charging schedule that avoids peak demand, helping consumers to access cheaper tariffs – with a key benefit of owning an EV being lower running costs, particularly in the current cost of living crisis.

The off-peak charging also has the added benefit of the electricity often being from lower carbon energy sources during off-peak hours.

The random charging delay aspect means that any charger will see a delay before it starts charging of up to ten minutes.

“The goal here for the grid is to try and soften that impact in terms of those shorter term spikes” in demand, Moir explained.

This then ties in with the DSR aspect, which means that all new chargepoints will have the necessary functionality to support DSR services, with this helping to balance the grid and offer savings to consumers.

This is particularly relevant in the light of rising uptake of EVs - with the electrification of transport and heating expected to significantly raise demand.

However, when asked if there are enough EVs on the UK’s roads currently to make a difference when it comes to DSR services, Moir said that while there will be some difference, “there’s a lot more growth needed to really see that impact”.

“At this moment in time, it’s not maybe going to help as much as we’d like it to, but certainly in the future it will absolutely play its part.”

When it comes to readiness, Moir said that in some respects, the industry has been ready for these regulations and that the changes needing to happen will happen, but that where focus really needs to be places is on the consumers “so they really understand how they can play their part in that broader grid balancing”.

“Educating customers is going to be one of our key priorities going forward, specifically around these upcoming changes,” he said.

Overall, greater focus is needed in the industry on the end customer itself, Moir said, with changes in the industry itself being very fast-paced with big changes for customers.

When it comes to incentivising customers to engage with smart charging and DSR, Moir said what those incentives will depend on the end consumer.

He suggested it could be things like reduced charging rates or loyalty points that build up over time, but ultimately it’s about understand the specific needs of a consumer to incentivise them to allow companies such as Shell Recharge Solutions and the grid network to do the load balancing in the background.

“It’s about us understanding trends and behaviours we’re seeing in that specific customer and what works and what doesn’t work, to then roll that out when have some good understanding of the profiles of different customer segments,” he said.

Overall, Moir said that it is excellent to see the new regulations coming into effect, stating that he believes they are “fundamental as part of the next step for customers in the EV transition”.

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