The proposal announced on Monday for all new-build homes to be fitted with charge-points aims to promote the uptake of battery-powered vehicles, which accounted for just 2.7 per cent of new vehicle purchases in the UK in 2018.
“With record levels of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads, it is clear there is an appetite for cleaner, greener transport,” said transport secretary Chris Grayling. “Home charging provides the most convenient and low-cost option for consumers.”
The move, which would be a world first, comes as the UK is positioning itself as a leader in the race to net zero emissions, becoming the first major economy in June to legislate that it will reach the target by 2050.
In 2018, it was estimated that 33 per cent of CO2 emissions came from transport, making it central to UK efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Department for Transport said that installing charge points in residential buildings would add an additional cost of approximately £976 per parking space for an average home.
Requirements that all new private charge-points use “smart”technology are also under consideration. This would help stabilise the network and reduce costs for customers as electric vehicle charging increases.
“This is an unequivocally sensible move,” said Philip New, chief executive at Energy Systems Catapult, an innovation centre set up to help transform the UK energy system. “It may enable some benefits of scale,” he added.
A small percentage of new housing without parking facilities will not be required to install a charge point.
Consultations on changing the building regulations in England will take 12 weeks. Regulations for Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland are matters devolved to Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh for separate consideration.
The proposed legislation complements other government measures to improve electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including a £400m Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund as part of the Road to Zero strategy to transition the UK to zero emission vehicles.
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