Starting from 1st July 2019, any government-funded charge points installed are required to be ‘smart’. We at GKL Electric thought we’d demystify these requirements for you.
What is a smart charge point?
A smart charge point is one that can:
- Receive, interpret, and react to a signal,
- Can be accessed remotely,
- Reduce the load of electric-vehicle charging on the electricity system by ‘ smart charging’ during off-peak hours, and
- Help keep the charging costs low for consumers.
These new requirements for charge points come on the heels of the announcement of The Road to Zero – a plan designed to reduce vehicular emissions and phase out the sales of conventionally fuelled vehicles.
Who does this affect?
The new requirements for smart electric charge points offer a good guideline for all new charge point installations. However, they directly affect any such points installed under the Electric Vehicle Home Charge Scheme.
Specifically, if you are installing a new charge point under this scheme, it needs to meet those requirements.
However, workplace charge points do not have to meet these requirements… yet.
What is the Electric Vehicle Home Charge Scheme?
The Electric Vehicle Home Charge Scheme, also known as the OLEV grant), is an effort by the UK government to encourage people to ‘go zero-emission’. The grant is a discount off the purchase and installation of electric charge points in homes.
As registered owners, lessee, or primary users of an electric vehicle that is eligible, you can get 75%, and up to a maximum of £500 including VAT, off your charge point installation costs per vehicle.
Additionally, you can only claim a rebate on one charge point per qualifying vehicle.
How do you qualify for the OLEV grant?
If you want to take advantage of the OLEV grant, you must check all of these boxes:
- Have acquired an eligible electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle from 1st October 2016 onwards
- Have off-street parking
- Installing a smart charge point approved by OLEV
- Using an OLEV-approved charge point installer
- Installation must be within 4 months of purchasing or becoming the registered driver of the electric vehicle
Is your vehicle eligible for the OLEV grant?
If you have recently purchased an electric or a plug-in hybrid vehicle, you might be eligible for the OLEV grant. If you have a fully battery-operated vehicle, you do qualify.
However, if you have a plug-in hybrid, the vehicle’s CO₂ emissions need to be below 75g/km to qualify.
Why do I need an OLEV-approved installer and charge point?
The idea behind smart charge-points is to keep charging costs (and the load on the electricity supply) low. Since home charging is the most convenient and low-cost option for most EV and PHEV owners, they would want to restrict the charging of their car to off-peak hours to keep tariffs low.
That’s what a smart charge point will manage – smart charging.
However, not all companies are authorised to install these charge points. Additionally, not all charge points meet the requirements set by the government. This is why OLEV has created a list of approved smart charge point installers as well as a list of approved smart charge point models. These installers are authorised to install smart charge points and claim the grant on your behalf.
Why do we need new requirements for smart charge points?
Transport Minister Michael Ellis explained that this new regulation was to ensure that the UK is ‘the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle’.
By ensuring low rates for charging, the government hopes to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles by more people.
Smart charging also future-proofs the country’s charging points. The new requirements will let homes benefit from lower tariffs as well as new technologies like rooftop solar and battery storage to reduce their bills.
The government is also proposing that all new residential buildings with off-road parking should have electric vehicle charge points. The proposal also says non-residential buildings should include requirements for the infrastructure for charge points.
Industry experts are pushing for the smart charge point requirement to extend to workplace charging as well.
If you wish to learn more about electric vehicles and what owning them entails, we have a suggested reading list for you.
- Pros and cons of electric and hybrid vehicle leasing
- How businesses can encourage green fleet driving habits
- A guide to the Workplace Charging Scheme for electric vehicles
If you are interested in leasing electric vehicles for yourself or your company, get in touch with us. Call us on 01844 852000 and speak to our team for help on leasing the best electric cars for your needs.