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Zero Emission Vehicles & Charging Infrastructure

What is involved?

Accelerating the adoption of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) and the deployment of charging infrastructure is key to delivery of the Government’s low carbon transport agenda. Much of the focus is on electric vehicle (EV) solutions, but hydrogen may also play a significant role.

Freeths advises a broad range of players in the ZEV market, from chargepoint providers, to charging infrastructure hosts, investors, contractors, manufacturers and fleet operators. As a full-service law firm, we have expertise in all the areas required to assist clients in seizing ZEV market opportunities and to support businesses who are leading the charge.

Our team of electric vehicle lawyers and wider ZEV team can assist with:

  • Business models and structuring
  • Procurement
  • Finance
  • Planning and real estate
  • Commercial contracts
  • Grid connections
  • Installation, operation and maintenance
  • Electricity supply
  • IT and data
  • Intellectual property
  • Corporate acquisitions and fundraising
  • Tax
  • Smart charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2G)
  • Electrification of vehicle fleets
  • Hydrogen-powered vehicles
  • Co-location of EV chargers with electricity generation and/or storage assets

Why choose Freeths?

As well as opportunities, the migration from ICE to ZEV presents significant challenges. Few other sectors have undergone such dramatic change in such a short space of time.

Whilst the ZEV market is rising to these challenges, it is still in its infancy and will see rapid evolution in the coming years. Against the backdrop of Governmental and commercial pressure to accelerate the ZEV roll-out, there is a bewildering array of delivery models and commercial actors.

At Freeths, our knowledge of the ZEV market enables us to untangle the complexities and help our clients realise their ambitions whilst ensuring that their commercial interests are protected. Since 2019 we have operated a ZEV Working Group to develop and disseminate ZEV-related expertise across the firm.

The ZEV Working Group is made up of lawyers from all of our key practice areas and complementary sector groups, including Clean Energy, Transport, Logistics & Warehousing, Infrastructure & Project Finance, Real Estate, Planning, Construction & Engineering, and Banking & Finance. We have made significant investments into this initiative and, as a result, we are genuinely thought-leaders in this space.

The ZEV Working Group is led by James Larmour, Clare King, Michael Bray and Kirstin Roberts. Please feel free to contact us.

Read our latest articles here >

What are the risks in an electric vehicle chargepoint project?

We are seeing a variety of different business models and approaches for the delivery of EV charging infrastructure (EVCI). With each there are a multitude of risks to understand and manage, including:

  • Demand risk
  • Site selection
  • Competing infrastructure
  • Planning risk
  • Defects in chargepoints
  • Batch failures
  • Regulatory risk
  • Obsolescence

A more detailed review of the risks associated with EV charging infrastructure projects and how these might best be allocated between the relevant parties can be found in our EVCI Risk Matrix – a free tool to help you better manage risk.

We are keen to hear your views so please touch base with one of the leaders of our ZEV Working Group if you have comments or queries: James Larmour, Clare King or Kirstin Roberts.

Insights into the electric vehicle sector

On 20th May 2020 we hosted a live webinar with a panel of experts from amber energy®, Cenex, Connected Kerb and Delta-EE. The panel shared their views and practical experiences of the evolving EV sector, while the team provided an overview of the regulatory framework.

Among the topics covered were:

  • EV market penetration
  • characteristics and behaviours of EV owners
  • public EV charging – key trends
  • the chargepoint market – current status and future challenges
  • EV charging solutions and charging speeds
  • approaches to smart charging
  • energy demand of EVs

Watch back the full webinar here >

Financing EV charging infrastructure

On 28th July 2020 we hosted the second in our series of EV webinars – Financing EV Charging Infrastructure. Our chair James Larmour was joined by guest speakers from Amber Infrastructure, MUFG Bank and Green Giraffe.

The panel shared their expertise on:

  • accessing finance for EV charging infrastructure
  • market activity and trends
  • key risks and bankability issues
  • revenue models

as well as discussing specific case studies.

Watch back the full webinar here >

How to deliver a successful EV project

On 15th September 2020 we hosted the third in our series of EV webinars – How to Deliver a Successful EV Project. Our guest speakers from Biffa, Oxfordshire County Council and MacIntyre Hudson provided a series of practical case studies on electrification of vehicle fleets, private vehicle charging solutions and public charging infrastructure, and our chair Clare King summarised some of the Government funding available for EVs and chargepoint projects.

The panel discussed:

  • greening the car fleet: what fleet decision makers have experienced so far in designing an efficient policy to manage the potential challenges around taxation, charging, networks and fuel when moving to EVs
  • electric refuse collection vehicles: working with local authority partners to green their collection fleets
  • the Park and Charge innovation project: objectives and elements of the project, how stakeholders are working together to deliver this project, and issues to be considered and overcome

Watch back the full webinar here >

Low emission vehicle technologies

On 12th November 2020 we hosted the fourth and final webinar in our EV series: Low Emission Vehicle Technologies – What You Need To Know. Our guest speakers from Baringa and PRE provided an overview of the low emission vehicle technologies currently available in the market and those on the horizon, and took an in-depth look at smart charging and vehicle-to-grid. Our own Luke Dixon then outlined what stakeholders need to know about data in the context of smart systems.

Watch back the full webinar here >

Meet the team

Zero Emission Vehicles & Charging Infrastructure Lawyers

Philippa Dempster

Philippa Dempster
Managing Partner

0207 440 5841

Mitchell Ball

Mitchell Ball

0345 077 9675

Iain Bowler

0345 030 5767

Michael Bray

Michael Bray

0345 126 3775

Robert Bruce

0345 128 6958

Luke Dixon

0345 404 4162

John Flathers

0345 166 6276

Tom Johnson

0345 128 7974

Alex Johnson

0345 077 9643

Image of Ben Jones

Benjamin Jones

0345 274 6920

Atiyya Khaliq

Atiyya Khaliq

0345 050 3604

Clare King

Clare King

0345 128 6950

James Larmour

James Larmour

0345 017 1122

Clive Pearce

Clive Pearce

0345 128 6990

Stephen Pearson

0345 274 6900

Ian Rowson

0345 050 3627

Jon Smart

Jon Smart

0345 050 3650

Image of Matt Stephens

Matt Stephens

0345 073 8558

Duncan Tringham

0117 472 5385

Darren Williamson

0345 634 1742

Ben Gant

0345 077 9654

Zero Emission Vehicles & Charging Infrastructure

Rachel Kent

0345 404 4112

David Laurence

David Laurence

0345 128 6982

Kirstin Roberts

Kirstin Roberts FCIWM

0345 166 6299

Frank Suttie

0345 128 6996

Zac Clayton
Managing Associate

0345 128 7963

Emily Criddle

Emilie Criddle
Managing Associate

0345 126 3749

Coralie McKeivor
Managing Associate

0345 126 4384

Liam O'Flynn
Managing Associate

0345 128 6986

Amy Stolberg

Amy Patmore
Senior Associate

0345 126 4382

Veena Velani
Senior Associate

0345 073 8582

Reece Ballett

0345 128 6980

Hayley Bunt

0345 030 5431

Elliott Thorne

0345 030 5773

Raman Virk

0345 274 6889

Related news
More related news, articles and events for Zero Emission Vehicles & Charging Infrastructure

"As one of the UK's leading law firms, with expertise in the energy industry, Freeths LLP are a natural partner for amber energy®. Most recently we have been pleased to collaborate on an EV sector project and the specific industry insight and expertise which Freeths bring to the table are invaluable for us and our clients."

(Nick Proctor, CEO, amber energy®)

Notable Work
  • Working with Oxford City Council to develop a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) enabling Local Authorities across the country to utilise a procurement system for acquiring/entering into concession/purchase agreements and other legal arrangements to enhance their local EV charging infrastructure. The DPS allows any Local Authority to access a pre-approved network of providers, divided into nine separate lots, capable of providing/installing EV charging systems, smart street furniture, storage systems, network operations, construction and commissioning services, maintenance and inspection services and e-car club operations, based on template forms of specification, KPIs and contracts. The project won ‘Innovative Procurement Project of the Year’ at the 2023 Tomorrows Procurement awards and was a finalist at the 2023 Local Government Chronicle awards.
  • Advising a leading chargepoint provider in relation to the development of template documents for the appointment of contractors for the installation of EV charging equipment.
  • Advising hotel and brewery operators on template and site specific EVCI installations and associated agreements including EVCI leases, grid connectivity and grid easements and wayleaves on a portfolio of sites across the UK with the likes of Osprey and Tesla, including strategic advice on approach to varying and partially surrendering property out of occupational operator leases and the need to obtain superior landlord consents.
  • Advising a leading asset manager on the establishment of a nationwide framework for the installation of EV chargepoints in privately-owned car parks, including on the framework agreement which provided for the procurement and installation of EV chargepoints, the supply of electricity for vehicle charging, the operation and maintenance of the chargepoints, and the customer payment interface. We also advised on lease arrangements with the car park owners.
  • Advising a leading investor, developer and long-term fund manager of infrastructure and energy efficiency assets on a project for the installation of kerbside EV chargepoints in a London borough, including on (a) the acquisition and installation of the chargepoints, (b) O&M arrangements, (c) the customer payment interface, (d) financing, (e) procurement law and (f) section 50 licensing.
  • Advising a London Borough on a Vehicle to Grid (V2G) scheme, including contracts for V2G equipment and services under which our client agreed with a service provider to acquire the software and hardware to provide smart uni- and bi-directional charging solutions for EVs on a managed service basis, and for commissioning and installation of the V2G chargepoints and their ongoing operation. (Bi-directional chargers allow EV batteries to discharge electricity back to the grid, as well as charging from the grid. Via V2G software EV drivers can generate returns by providing electricity to help regulate the grid and by taking advantage of differential time-of-day electricity prices.)
  • Advising a major retail client on arrangements with bpPulse for the installation and hosting of EV charging infrastructure at a trial site, with the potential for national roll-out. This involved advice on all aspects of the proposed arrangements, including detailed input to the contract and providing observations on the commercial model.
  • Advising Connected Kerb on its standard terms of business for the installation of EV charging infrastructure, and on supplementary terms and conditions in relation to various commercial models.
  • Advising a large real estate investor client on an EV charging deal with GridServe, whereby the client granted a ground lease to GridServe for the development and operation of an Electric Forecourt.
  • Advising an international motorway services provider on the contractual framework for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at a number of their 350 UK sites. Our input included advice on electricity grid connection arrangements, regulatory considerations and sector-specific elements of the framework lease for EV chargepoints.
  • Advising a contractor on funding arrangements to support its obligations under a framework agreement with a number of local authorities to deliver the rollout of EV chargepoint infrastructure across a number of public sites.
  • Acting for a major Chinese-owned automotive manufacturer in relation to the construction contracts for a new-build plant in the UK to produce electric vehicles.
  • Advising Connected Kerb on multiple fundraises and in obtaining SEIS/EIS relief, drafting all the documentation for the investments.
  • Advice on State Aid issues in relation to grant funding from the UK Government’s £50m ‘All-electric Bus Town’ scheme, including vehicles, chargepoints and other infrastructure, covering 75% of the difference between traditional and electric vehicle costs.
  • Advising an international energy company on land rights for the installation and operation of EV chargepoints.
  • Advising a leading chargepoint provider on their standard terms and conditions for commercial sales of EV charging units, and their services agreement for the installation, testing and commissioning of EV charging equipment.
  • Advising a hotel chain on the proposed installation of EV chargepoints across its estate in England and Wales, and the leasing of EV infrastructure and car parking spaces to third party operators, including property and commercial arrangements.
  • Advising an EV chargepoint provider on terms for the installation and operation of chargepoints with several landowners, including public car park operators across England, Wales and Scotland
  • Advising Pigeon on the sale of a freehold ground lease for the GRIDSERVE electric forecourt with 36 charging bays at Broadland Gate, Norwich.

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