On 22 November 2021, the Government announced that new building regulations would be introduced in England requiring new homes and buildings (such as supermarkets and workplaces), as well as those undergoing major renovation, to install electric vehicle charge points.

The Department for Transport’s Consultation Response: EV Charge points in Residential and Non-residential Building (the Consultation Response) sets out that the regulations will require that:

  1. Every new home with on-site parking is to have an electric vehicle charge point;
  1. Residential buildings undergoing major renovation, which will have more than 10 parking spaces after the renovation is complete, are to have at least one electric vehicle charge point for each dwelling with associated parking and cable routes in all spaces without charge points;
  1. All new non-residential buildings with more than 10 parking spaces are to have a minimum of one charge point and cable routes for one in five of the total number of spaces; and
  1. All non-residential buildings undergoing a major renovation which will have more than 10 parking spaces after the renovation is complete are to have a minimum of one charge point and cable routes for one in five spaces.

The regulations are due to be implemented next year and it is anticipated that 145,000 charge points across England will be installed every year as a result of the introduction of these new regulations.

The Consultation Response confirmed that the Government will not introduce the proposed requirement for one charge point in all existing non-residential properties with more than 20 parking spaces as a more tailored approach is needed for existing non-residential properties. Therefore, work is due to be undertaken to introduce an alternative policy.

The announcement is positive news and a step towards decarbonising England’s transport system and reaching the UK’s target of bringing all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. This is likely to present valuable opportunities for suppliers of electric vehicle charge points but the implications for developers is also likely to be significant.

As electricity has become much less carbon intensive due to generation from renewable sources including solar and wind, the Government’s strategy towards promoting the use of EV’s has become more attractive to seek to tackle the UK’s Net Zero targets. This announcement has arrived not long after the Heat and Buildings Strategy was released on 18 October 2021. Amongst the strategy and vision for a greener future, the Government identified heat pumps (alongside district heating) as one of the potential solutions for decarbonising heat including for domestic properties - see our article for more detail. As heat pumps also rely on electricity supply, developers will need to carefully plan and consider the energy solutions to any new development and secure sufficient electrical capacity to accommodate the additional power needs for EVs and heat pumps which, in some cases, may lead to significantly increased reinforcement costs depending on the location/available capacity.

We have also previously covered[1] some of the public procurement points to note for the installation of the significant electric vehicle charging infrastructure needed to support the “Green Industrial Revolution”. The Consultation Response indicates some of the ways in which residential house builders are going to be brought into the drive to install charging capacity and there are likely to be further developments in this fast moving sector in the months to come.

Bevan Brittan have a dedicated Energy and Resource Management team who are advising clients on EV projects across the UK. This includes a market leading team of procurement lawyers who have extensive experience in supporting clients on procurement design and the conduct of complex procedures, as well as assisting suppliers to challenge procuring authorities which may not have conducted their procurement in a fair and transparent way.

[1]               Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure: Future proof procurement | Bevan Brittan LLP

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