Real Estate Law Blog: Electric Vehicles - The Road To Zero

The Government's 'Road to Zero' strategy aims to ensure that all new cars and vans are zero emission by 2040. This year, however, sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have decreased, partly due to purchasers being deterred by a lack of charge-points for their vehicles. To rectify this issue and in order to achieve its goal, the Government is consulting on proposals to require new residential and non-residential buildings, those undergoing major renovations and some existing non-residential buildings to have electric vehicle charge-points. You can read the consultation document here.


The Government proposes that:

  1. every new residential building with an associated car parking space is to have a charge-point. This includes buildings undergoing a material change of use to create a dwelling;
  2. residential buildings with more than 10 parking spaces that are undergoing renovation are to have a charge-point and cable-routes to every parking space;
  3. every new non-residential building and those undergoing major renovation with more than 10 parking spaces are to have one charge-point with cable-routes to one-in-five parking spaces; and
  4. existing non-residential buildings with more than 20 car parking spaces are to have at least one charge-point by 2025.

Electric Vehicles

These changes are to be implemented through amendments to the Building Regulations 2010. However, it has been suggested that a national standard may instead be set, leaving it to the discretion of Local Planning Authorities to implement such changes, where they deem it technically achievable. This may be particularly advantageous for residential buildings with on-street-parking only.

Simultaneously, the Government is consulting on its proposal to require all new charge-points to be 'smart'. Such charge-points would be capable of controlling the time of day when a vehicle charges and/or modulating the rate of charge so as to help manage the demand on the electricity system and maximise the use of renewable electricity. For example - you plug in your electric vehicle when you get home from work at 7pm; you tell your charge-point you want a fully charged car by the time you leave for work at 8am the following morning; at 7pm the electricity available on the grid is expensive as demand is high so your charge-point stays idle; at 2am it's very windy in the North Sea and lots of offshore wind farms are generating electricity; your charge-point recognises that the available electricity is clean and cheap so starts charging your car.

The Government hopes that its proposed regulatory changes will result in thousands more charge-points across the UK, providing one of the best electric vehicle infrastructure networks in the world. Both consultations close on 7 October 2019.

Our Energy & Waste team are able to advise on EVs and EV charging infrastructure, and are monitoring the progress of the consultations. Please contact Clare King, or Kirstin Roberts for more information or if any matter you're working on involves an EV element.

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The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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