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DID you know that on the 30th of June, smart charging regulations for electric vehicles in the UK are coming into force?

Despite ongoing supply issues, the plug-in vehicle population is growing at a record pace in the UK, and the demand doesn’t look to be slowing any time soon. In fact, there were twice as many plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on our roads in June 2021 compared to the end of 2019.

And with most EV charging likely to take place at home, the Government is taking steps to make sure the electrical grid can keep up with demand.

The automotive experts at Leasing Options have uncovered three key points that EV drivers need to know about the new smart charging regulations.

  1. All new chargepoints must have this important feature

All new chargepoints must have a data connection, and they must have the ability to measure, record and transmit usage, both in minutes and as units of energy.

The connection must also be able to delay charging or slow it down during periods of high grid demand. Chargepoint manufacturers will also have to provide a user interface for drivers, such as an app.

  1. New chargepoints will be pre-configured to avoid charging in peak hours

Designed to encourage smarter behaviour, new EV chargepoints will be pre-configured to avoid charging during peak hours (8-11am and 4-10pm on weekdays).

This is aimed at lightening the load on the grid – the only exceptions are units that are configured to respond to periods of high demand, based on intelligence from energy suppliers.

It’s worth remembering that peak-time charging isn’t being banned. EV drivers can choose not to accept the factory presets and override these settings, even if controlled remotely.

They can also set their own charging schedules to take advantage of cheaper overnight tariffs – functionality that not all plug-in vehicles have built-in.

  1. Charging will randomly defer off-peak charging sessions by ten minutes

As part of their 18-month smart charging trial which involved 700 drivers, Electric Nation noted a surge in electricity demand at 10pm as chargepoints came online after peak hours.

In order to avoid this, new units will randomly defer off-peak charging sessions by ten minutes, and allow utility companies to extend this to half an hour if grid demand is high.

Expert comment:

Mike Thompson, Director at Leasing Options said: “The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021 will come into force on 30th June 2022. These regulations will set out the minimum standards for all home and workplace chargepoints sold in England, Scotland, and Wales from that date.

“The most important things that EV drivers need to be aware of are the changes to chargepoint data and connectivity, new off-peak charging configurations, and staggered charge times.

“These new smart charging regulations don’t apply to public chargepoints, as these face different challenges in terms of grid supply.”

Why do chargepoints need regulating?

According to National Grid Group, the actual capacity for EV charging isn’t as big a problem as most people might think. Thanks to even more solar panels being installed and people using more energy-efficient appliances, peak demand for power reduced by 16% between 2002 and 2020.

We work that out as being enough headroom for the projected 10% increase if everyone switched to electric cars, but that’s only as long as that demand is managed effectively.

The Department for Transport launched a consultation in 2019 to assess potential solutions as their first step to addressing any potential issues with grid power supply.

The results helped inform an Impact Assessment in July 2021, which suggested that smarter, regulated charging could provide a range of benefits, including:

  • Deferring costly grid upgrades, which would be needed to increase peak capacity

  • Helping drivers utilise cheaper overnight energy tariffs

  • Standardising the chargepoint functionality between different manufacturers



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