The Department of Transport and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles has launched a consultation proposing that new-build homes be fitted with electric car charging infrastructure. If approved by parliament, it will be legislated via the UK building regulations. The UK government is keen to encourage the further adoption of EVs by making home charging easier for EV owners.
The UK will be the first country globally to enforce such measures for new-build residential properties, reinforcing its leadership in the race to net zero emissions. Under the proposal, all new homes with a dedicated parking will require an electric car home charingpoint installed, to enable:
- Easier charging
- Cheaper charging and;
- More convenience for EV drivers
The UK government has already taken steps to encourage the uptake of home charging infrastructure by providing up to £500 grant towards the cost of supply and installation (Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme).
The UK government continues to deliver on its vision as outlined in the Road to Zero Strategy. Legislating the installation of home charging electric vehicle infrastructure is a significant milestone in the fast growing EV industry.
However, equally important will be enforcing the installation of EV charging points in current housing stock. Range anxiety and lack of charging infrastructure have been significant concerns of potential EV buyers and any step in alleviating such concerns will result in the higher uptake of electric vehicles in the UK.
The outgoing UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has approved a £500 million loan guarantee to the automotive behemoth Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) to encourage the company to build EVs in the Midlands. The government envisions that the loan would also result in the UK meeting its environmental commitments. The loan is a combination of funding sourced via the UK Export Finance and commercial lenders.
Executives from Nissan, Vauxhall, Aston Martin, Shell and BP, also attended the Downing street roundtable event.
This is another piece of good news for the UK automotive sector. The key for the success of such initiatives by the government is the stability and continuity by the new prime minister of the UK. Any reversal or change in such initiatives by the new prime minister will derail the nascent electric vehicle industry. The UK automotive sector has witnessed a very challenging trading period over the past few years and desperately needs a stable and robust framework of policy creation and legislation.
MG has announced that it will match the UK government plug-in car grant (PiCG) of £3,500 for the first 1,000 ZS EV buyers in the UK. This will position MG’s first all-electric model significantly below the Hyundai Kona Electric and the Kia e-Niro.
The first 1,000 buyers will also receive a free home charging point. The discounts bring the entry-level ZS variant, the ‘Excite’ down to £21,495. This places the ZS EV as one of the cheapest electric cars in the UK. The model was first revealed in China in 2018 at the Guangzhou Motor Show.
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of competitive pricing, in particular of electric vehicles compared to traditional petrol or diesel cars (ICE). The higher prices associated with EVs has been detrimental to the uptake of EVs in the UK. It is therefore very encouraging to see OEMs also commit their balance sheets to reduce the cost of acquisition for potential electric car owners. We would hope that this is the commencement of a wider trend of other automotive manufacturers also ‘matching’ the UK plug-in car grant.
Apart form the above, the MG announcement potentially also signals the start of increased competition from electric car manufacturers for leadership in the EV industry.