UK electric vehicle charge point rise promised in Queen's Speech


Today’s (Wednesday 21 June) State Opening of Parliament featured additional backing for the UK’s electric car sector with the announcement of the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill.

The new bill was among the legislation in the government’s latest proposals for forthcoming plans that it will consider passing into law over the next two years, and sees legislation introduced to “ensure the United Kingdom remains a world leader in new industries, including electric cars”.

Featured in the new bill is a wish to increase the number of electric or hydrogen vehicle charge points at the UK’s motorway service areas, and for major fuel retailers to install electric vehicle charging facilities. It was also noted that “private parking companies and major property developers” should also consider the installation of charge points.

Another key strand of the proposed legislation is improved accessibility to the widened infrastructure, with multi-network interoperability making it easier for drivers of electric vehicles to charge on any networks they choose. A set of operational and technical standards will aim to improve reliability and performance of the public charging network.

With over 100,000 vehicles in the UK benefitting from the government Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) for electric vehicles, the Government says it will commit to another £600 million spend during this Parliament to support the growing low and ultra-low emission market. More than 13,800 ultra-low emission vehicles were registered in the first quarter of 2017, which is up 17 per cent from the same period in 2016.

The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill will also “ensure the UK continues to be at the forefront of developing new technology in electric and automated road vehicles” and “allow the regulatory framework to keep pace with the fast evolving technology for electric cars, helping improve air quality”.

When it comes to automation, the Bill also sees aims to “extend compulsory motor vehicle insurance to cover the use of automated vehicles, to ensure that compensation claims continue to be paid quickly, fairly, and easily, in line with longstanding insurance practice”.

The Bill also states that innovation will “flourish” and it will additionally ensure that automated driving technology will continue to be "designed, invented, and operated safely in the UK". It also aims to put the UK at the forefront of automated vehicle ownership and position the country as a global leader in the electric vehicle market through the nationwide infrastructure improvements.