18.As part of the third six-month review of the Coronavirus Act 2020 (the 2020 Act), the Government, in consultation with the Devolved Administrations, have assessed that some of the provisions of the 2020 Act are no longer necessary. Most provisions in the 2020 Act were given a two-year duration, so this instrument proposes to terminate several redundant provisions, some of which have never been used:
19.These draft Regulations propose a requirement for all domestic and workplace charge points (CPs) for electric vehicles (EVs) to include smart functionality. Following the announcement to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030, the Department for Transport (DfT) says that the transition to EVs is central to the Government’s commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but that to enable this transition, the electricity system will have to meet the increased demand.
20.The Department expects that most EVs will be charged at home, and says that without intervention, EV charging is likely to happen during electricity system peak times when people arrive home from work. This would require significant additional investment in the electricity networks and electricity generation capacity. According to DfT, smart charging will enable EV charging to be optimised at times when there is lower demand on the electricity system, or when renewable electricity generation is high.
21.In addition to introducing a requirement for all domestic and workplace CPs to include smart functionality, these draft Regulations also specify certain requirements and standards that smart CPs must meet, covering issues such as safety; interoperability (allowing consumers to swich energy suppliers without losing smart functionality); loss of connectivity (requiring that when the network connection is lost, a CP must still be able to charge); randomised delay (to avoid CPs all turning on or off simultaneously, for example after a power cut); and cybersecurity (to protect against cyber attacks and to protect the stability of the electricity system). The draft Regulations also require a statement of compliance to be provided with every smart CP sold and set out the enforcement powers and penalties, including a penalty of up to £10,000 for selling a non-compliant CP. BEIS estimates that around 87% of private CPs sold or installed in Great Britain currently have smart functionality. The installation of CPs with smart functionality is to be welcomed. We note, however, the need to also consider the accessibility of CPs for those who are unable to install a private CP, especially those who do not have their own dedicated parking place at home.
5 HM Government, ‘Government takes historic step towards net-zero with end of sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030’: [accessed 4 November 2021].