Electric Vehicle Charge Points – Real Estate
In the Energy White Paper 2020, the government set out a plan for the UK to achieve net-zero by 2050, in the ongoing battle against climate change.
Certain commitments were made in the Paper. As transport produced 27% of the UK’s total emissions in 2019, with cars and taxis being a major contributor, it was no surprise that a strategy was put in place to reduce these numbers.
Notably, one of the key commitments the government made was "to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and hybrids by 2035".
As such, regulations are being introduced to ensure that the UK will be equipped with the infrastructure required for electric vehicles.
Following my colleague, Annie Long's article, in August, on the regulation on EV charge points (https://energy.howardkennedy.com/post/102h4sv/part-one-how-are-ev-chargepoints-currently-being-regulated), there have been recent developments. In December 2021 it was announced that regulations are set to come into force on 15 June 2022.
So, what are these regulations? The Building Regulations etc. (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021, will require:
- All new homes, with associated parking to have an EV charge point.
- Residential buildings undergoing a major renovation with more than 10 parking spaces, within the site boundary after renovation is complete, must have at least one EV charge for each dwelling with associated parking and cable routes in all spaces without charge points.
- All new non-residential buildings with over 10 parking spaces must have a minimum of one charge point and cable routes for one in five of the total number of spaces.
- Non-residential buildings undergoing major renovation which will involve having more than 10 parking spaces must have a minimum of one charge point, along with cable routes for one in five spaces.
According to the Department for Transport, there were just over 28,000 public charge points in the UK at the start of 2022. The aim is that the new regulations will assist in reaching up to 145,000 new charge points each year.
The Regulations will not apply for building work for which a building notice or an initial notice has been given to, or full plans have been deposited with, a local authority before 15th June 2022, and works have commenced before 15th June 2023.
The Government has also introduced an exemption for new residential properties where the installation of a charge point would increase grid connection costs by more than £3,600. However, cable routes would still be required.
For residential developments undergoing major renovations, the regulations will not apply if the existing power supply is insufficient to install all charge points. And, if the property is undergoing major renovation for the purposes of fire safety remediation, the regulations will also be exempt.
Lastly, there is an exemption for listed buildings, in conservation areas, or in schedule of monuments that charge point installation would unacceptably alter.
Impact on Developers?
There will be several key considerations for developers. Some of which will include:
- Cost - Developers will have to factor the cost of installing charge points in line with the regulations. Charge points seem to be costing in the region of £500-1000.
- Capacity - Developers will also need to ensure there is sufficient capacity to deliver the requirements. The government expects developers to “consider agile solutions to network capacity issues to manage grid capacity to ensure policy requirements can be met in all but exceptional circumstances”. These are considerations all developers will have to have for newly acquired sites, or any development they plan to renovate.
- Technology – With technology evolving at high speeds, what is there to say that these charge points being invested in, could become outdated and useless in the future. Would the onus still be on developers to pay for technological advances?