After a tricky UN climate crisis conference, Boris Johnson announced that all new build homes and buildings in England will be required to install electric vehicle charge points from next year. This toughening up of regulations was briefed as ‘’world leading’’ by the PM after stating ‘’we cannot go on as we are’’.

From next year builders and developers on sites such as residential properties, retail parks, supermarkets and office buildings will be required to install electric vehicle charging points alongside renovations with 10+ parking spaces. This works hand in hand with the phasing out the use of petrol and diesel cars before sales of them come to an end in 2030. The forecast made by the government is 145,000 new charging points every year.

Currently almost 26,000 publicly available electric vehicle charging devices have been installed in the governments’ bid to target net zero by 2050 and approximately 250,000 points in homes and workplaces have already been put in place.

The government stated “With the majority of charging happening at home, this will mean people can buy new properties already ready for an electric vehicle future, while ensuring charge points are readily available at new shops and workplaces across the UK – making it as easy as refuelling a petrol or diesel car today.” However they are yet to announce details of the rules including specifications and power outputs. There is also the North / South divide as stressed by the Labour Party to the BBC “London and the South East have more public car charging points than the rest of England and Wales combined. Yet there is nothing here to help address this’’.

Alex Kindred, car insurance expert at commented: “Many of us are on board with efforts to become more environmentally conscious [and] over half of drivers (58%) told us that they’re concerned by the lack of charging points available for EVs.”

“Nor is there help so lower and middle income families can afford electric vehicles or the investment required to build the gigafactories we need.”

Alex also added: “With more than half (57%) of UK drivers wanting to see the government do more to help people make the switch to EVs, it’s encouraging to see this new government initiative announced. With the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars coming around quickly, we need to see more cost-related incentives at the point of purchase.

“Many of us are on board with efforts to become more environmentally conscious. In fact, we found that more than half (56%) of motorists would consider buying an electric vehicle as their next car. But over half of drivers (58%) told us that they’re concerned by the lack of charging points available for EVs, they need to be reassured that won’t struggle to find charging points for their electric car. It needs to be as easy as filling up with petrol.’’

Although a great scheme to drive towards net zero and negate some of the concerns about purchasing an electric vehicle, not everyone is happy! The National Federation of Builders fears the construction industry will foot the bill for chargers while electricity companies benefit. It said that to achieve planning permission builders are required to fund substations so that electricity companies can provide enough load to new and old developments.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB said: “We support the green industry and a green transition because it is a necessary part of change but due to how infrastructure investment works in practice, once again, the Government is seeking to grow its political capital and advance big business, at the expense of the construction industry and taxpayer.”

Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing at the House Builders Association (HBA), the housebuilding arm of the NFB, said: “This Government has only been in power for two years and has already introduced four new and stealth taxes on the construction industry. EV charging will be the fifth.

“It’s a disgusting way to treat a sector who worked throughout the Covid-19 lockdown to help pay for furlough and the impact of Covid-19. The Government needs to think very carefully about how it achieves a green revolution. It must require electricity companies to shoulder this cost, as they will be profiting from these investments in perpetuity.

“Or perhaps it is time to bring services into public ownership because the Government is not proving able to regulate the sector in a way that doesn’t cost the taxpayer.

“As we told the Prime Minister during COP26 in relation to retrofitting and onshore renewable energy, it is time the Conservatives began risking some of their own political capital and not simply expecting taxpayers and business to risk their financial capital. The Governments green legacy is looking like taxation and flawed policy, not revolutionary change.”

Love the new requirements or not, this is happening and will significantly improve the accessibility of car charging points ensuring purchasing electric vehicles are a more attractive option and therefore helping towards net zero.

What do you think?