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File photo dated 12/6/2015 of an electric car charging point at Chester Services. Millions of electric vehicles on the roads by 2050 will help the drive towards a zero emissions world by storing extra power from renewables, a new report says. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday July 11, 2019. Meeting the UK's new legal target to cut greenhouse gases to "net zero" by mid-century will also mean there will be no natural gas boilers heating homes, and houses will have to become much more energy efficient. See PA story ENERGY Future. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
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The UK government is to introduce legislation requiring the installation of charge points for electric vehicles in all new housing in England as part of efforts to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

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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