One step closer to EV connectivity - EV charge points required for new residential and commercial developments in England


The government will introduce new requirements for installing EV charge points in new homes, new non-residential buildings and renovated buildings where there are parking spaces. It applies only to England. New regulations (to be implemented in 2021) will require:

  • All new homes (including those from a change of use) with on-site parking to have an EV charge point
  • All residential buildings undergoing major renovation, which will have more than 10 on-site parking spaces after the renovation is complete, to have at least one EV charge point for each dwelling with associated parking. In addition to this, cable routes in all spaces without charge points
  • All new non-residential buildings (with more than 10 on-site parking spaces) to have at least one EV charge point. In addition to this, cable routes for one in five of the total number of spaces
  • All non-residential buildings undergoing a major renovation (which will have more than 10 on-site parking spaces after the renovation is complete) to have at least one EV charge point. In addition to this, cable routes for one in five of the total number of spaces

The requirements will not apply to crown buildings and statutory undertakers such as airports and train stations (these building types are normally exempt from Buildings Regulations requirements, as set out in the Building Act 1984). This will be considered separately.

These are minimum standards and developers and property owners can choose to install further charge points: The government will issue further guidance on the measures including minimum charge powers and plug type. The ethos behind the requirements being "requiring cable routes at the point of construction represents a significant cost saving in comparison to retrofitting and is more convenient (e.g. preventing car parks being closed to install cable routes"). Enforcement will be through building control.

The 2019 consultation proposal for one charge point to be required in all existing non-residential properties with more than 20 parking spaces will not be introduced. The government believes a more tailored approach is needed for existing non-residential properties and will work to introduce an alternative policy fit for purpose (concerns were expressed about the impact on small existing non-residential premises such as charities and small businesses). The consultation outcome reflects the need to ensure that developments remain viable and that new requirements are not disproportionately complex or costly. 

The full government response can be found here.

The table below provides a useful summary of the government’s final policy proposals.

CHARGE POINT REQUIREMENTS

Charge point requirements under regulations (applicable to all charge points):

  • Minimum power rating of 7kW 
  • Minimum of Mode 3 or equivalent
  • Type 2 plug (where applicable) 
  • Untethered (where applicable)

TIMESCALES

  • There will be a 6 months' minimum adjustment period from the date of the laying of the regulations in parliament and the regulations coming into force, during which properties which have their initial/ building notices or full plans deposited will not be legally required to meet the new regulations.
  • Properties that have their initial/ building notices or full plans submitted in this period must begin building work by no later than 12 months after the coming into force date, otherwise the new regulations will need to be met.

The government considers the 6-month period to be sufficient to allow stakeholders and industry to familiarise with the policies and regulations and prepare for the requirements. 

EXEMPTIONS AND ADJUSTMENT PERIOD

  • The table below sets out the exemptions (including an exemption for residential properties undergoing major renovation for the purposes of fire safety remediation due to historical fire safety deficiencies (i.e. cladding remediation) and charge points requirements will not apply in enclosed or open-sided car parks), while research is conducted into appropriate safety measures in these locations. Cable routes will be required in their place. The government will produce interim guidance for those responsible for enclosed or open-sided car parks
  • These exemptions are largely intended to ensure that developments remain viable, where installations would be disproportionately difficult or costly
  • The table also details the adjustment period between the laying and coming into force of the regulations where the requirement will not apply to allow industry time to prepare. 

COMMENT

The UK has a legal obligation to reduce its emissions to net zero by 2050. Electric vehicles are key to making this happen and the necessary infrastructure needs to be in place to make it happen. The silent revolution? Unquestionably so, the impact of which is creating noise in the property industry as it needs to adapt. The intention is that the lead-in time should be sufficient for developers, consumers, building control bodies and the property industry to ensure it can deliver. However, with the current supply issues in getting hold of charge point equipment in the UK to meet current roll out programmes and the increased demand on the electricity network, realistic timescales will be essential to ensure that the government's goals can be met.

We will continue to track developments in this area.

Key Contacts

Catherine Fearnhead

Catherine Fearnhead

Co-head of Energy and Utilities
Manchester, UK

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Frances Proctor

Frances Proctor

Managing Associate, Real Estate
Manchester, UK

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Paul Dight

Paul Dight

Partner, Energy and Utilities
United Kingdom

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