UK EV Law Paves Way for Rapid Rollout of Charging Stations

Earlier this month, lawmakers in the UK passed the Automated and Electric Vehicles (AEV) Act, granting the government power to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations nationwide.

The British government can now upgrade major roads with an avalanche of electric vehicle charging stations. The law also gives local mayors the ability to request installations at large gas stations in their cities.

The AEV act also stipulates that public charging stations must be compatible with all vehicles, set standards for reliability and standardize how to pay for charging points.

In addition, the laws have modernized insurance rules to cover self-driving vehicles, ensuring that motorists are covered when they are driving, and when the driver has legitimately handed control to the vehicle.

“The increasing automation of our cars is transforming the way we drive, and the government is steadily updating our laws in order to prepare for the future,” UK roads minister Jesse Norman noted in a statement.

The AEV act follows energy giant BP’s acquisition in June of Chargemaster, which operates the UK’s largest public network of EV charging points, with over 6,500 across the country.

The company also designs, builds, sells and maintains EV charging units for a wide range of locations, including people’s homes.

In May, the UK also enacted a new law that paved the way for drivers to use remote-control parking on local roads.

The legislation is part of a drive by the government to ensure UK road laws are up-to-date in supporting the development and street presence of autonomous driving technology.

The UK’s Highway Code rules will also be changed to better regulate the use of remote parking, and other components of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that can control certain aspects of driving, such as changing lanes.

The laws were passed following the recommendations of a 19-page study prepared by the UK Department for Transport (DfT) and Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles.

In March 2017, the DfT designated the future of mobility as one of the UK’s four “grand challenges” and aims to see fully self-driving cars on UK roads by 2021.

The government also recently released a white paper outlining its “Road to Zero Strategy.”

The paper details how the government will support the transition to zero-emission road transport and reduce emissions from conventional vehicles during the transition, a strategy that is long term in scope, considering the drivers of change, opportunities and risks out to 2050 and beyond.

Meanwhile, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) wants carmakers and legislators to provide greater clarity around ADAS capabilities, with risks to UK drivers outlined in their Assisted and Automated Driving Definition and Assessment paper.

In the US, the Center for Auto Safety and Consumer Watchdog have seconded those calls for an investigation into electric car maker Tesla’s branding of its Autopilot feature, as well as the company’s claims concerning ADAS technology.

— Nathan Eddy is a filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Berlin. Follow him on Twitter @dropdeaded209.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *