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Buildings in England required to install EV chargers by law

New homes, supermarkets, workplaces and buildings undergoing major renovation in England will have to install electric vehicle charge points from 2022, the UK government has announced.

The regulations will enable the installation of up to 145,000 new charge points in England every year, according to the government.

Introduced ahead of the UK’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, the rule will apply to new buildings and ones that undergo renovations that leave them with more than 10 parking spaces.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement in a keynote address at the Confederation of British Industry’s annual conference today.

He called for the public and private sectors to work in partnership to meet the country’s EV and net zero targets.

Alongside the EV charger announcement, the government also announced that the country’s innovation agency Innovate UK will deliver £150m of loans to help British SMEs commercialise their R&D projects.

UK’s EV ‘blackspots’

Having committed to banning petrol and diesel cars by 2030 – and hybrid cars by 2035 – the UK will need about 280,000 charge points by 2030, or about 10 times as many as it has now.

Earlier this year, Deloitte estimated that meeting that infrastructure target will require between £8bn and £18bn of investment.

However, there are concerns about the country delivering charge points everywhere they are needed.

In an interview with car publication Auto Express earlier this year, Kia’s UK president and CEO Paul Philpott warned of “charging blackspots”

He said: “It’s all very well having clusters of chargers on the M6 and M1, but what about people who want to buy and drive EVs in North Wales?”

In particular, on-street parking will be required to meet demand from the approximately 30% of the population that does not have access to a driveway.

To address potential “blackspots”, the UK Power Networks launched a programme at the start of the year with several local authorities to identify areas at risk of losing out.

The programme will then work out the support needed to make installation attractive to charge point providers.

In other EV news…

Meanwhile, Cranfield University signed a contract last week to install three 300kW battery storage units – taken from EVs – at its Bedfordshire campus in March 2022.

The university said the battery energy storage system (BESS) allows the site to accommodate a solar farm and an air source heat pump, reducing its reliance on the gas-combined heat and power system.

As an intensive energy use site, Cranfield faces certain grid constraints, including not being able to sell its spare capacity to the grid.

Energy supplier Connected Energy will supply the university with three containers, each housing 24 Renault Kangoo car batteries to operate across the campus. One will take excess solar energy at the weekends and deliver it back to the campus on Monday. The other two will connect the battery storage system directly into two of the site’s 40 transformers.

Matthew Lumsden, CEO of Connected Energy, said: “We have developed BESS technology that uses the EV batteries exactly as they are in the car but in a storage system, so that as far as the batteries are concerned, they are in a car.

“This means all the safety and R&D invested in the batteries remains intact as the batteries start their second-life. It makes complete environmental, engineering, and emotional sense and we are delighted to see Cranfield lead the world in environmental best practice.”

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