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Electric Vehicle Charging Points Could Be Mandatory In New Homes


Under new government proposals, new homes in England could be required to include electric vehicle charging points, as part of a series of proposals including similar plans for street lights and a ban on conventional fuel vehicle sales by 2040. 

These measures are aimed at tackling air pollution and keeping the UK up to date in its legal commitments to reduce polluting emissions, a policy known as the ‘Road to Zero’.

All new homes, flats and offices will now be required to include electric charge points for vehicles.  Street lights will also include charging points for areas with on-street parking, and plans are included to invest in technology that would bring wireless charging to streets, with pads underneath the road allowing charging without cables.

Companies that build or install charging points can look forward to more investment from the government, with up to £400 million extra funding released as part of the plan.  Chris Grayling, the Secretary for Transport, said that the plan was “The biggest overhaul in road transport technology since the development of the Benz patent motor car 130 years ago.”

Regarding the latter point, the government has announced that all diesel or petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK as part of international policy agreed with other countries.  Other countries, such as France, have announced similar plans.  However, the Treasury has cancelled plans for a diesel scrappage scheme, citing a lack of economic viability.  Some car manufacturers have led the field in announcing a full shift towards electric vehicles, with Volvo and Mini two hoping to get ahead of the curve and not be caught out by the ban.

Current charging points have faced criticism recently – most notably the case of a Scottish charging point that was rendered unusable by a Crème Egg, and concerns that they could be hacked or otherwise tampered with.  Local councils have an intervening period in which they are required to come up with plans for new building regulations that adhere to government policy.

The BBC’s environment analyst, Roger Harrabin, noted that there seems to be tension between the government and local councils over who should take the rap for changing drivers over from older vehicles to new, compliant hybrid cars, and alternative methods of transportation.  He said: “The government has told councils to solve pollution on their own streets by improving public transport and considering restrictions on dirty diesel vehicles at peak times.  If that doesn’t work, councils will be told to charge diesel drivers to come into towns.  The councils aren’t happy to take the rap for the controversial policy when it was the government that encouraged the sale of diesel vehicles in the first place.”

Amongst other critics, Labour criticised the delayed effects of the policy, with their Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokeswoman Sue Hayman MP saying: “With nearly 40 million people living in areas with illegal levels of air pollution, action is needed now, not in 23 years’ time.”