England could become the first country in the world to make electric car chargepoints in new homes mandatory in an overhaul of building regulations in the next two years..
The government is holding a public consultation on supporting adoption of electric vehicles across the UK, with the proposed legislation designed to make charging a car cheaper and more convenient for owners in their own homes.
The new rules should come into force by 10 March 2021 at the latest, the Department of Transport confirmed.
“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 – you can simply plug your car in to charge overnight as you would a mobile phone.”
All newly-installed rapid and high powered chargepoints outside of homes will need to accept debit or credit card payment by spring next year, following the installation of more than 20,000 publicly accessible chargepoints across the UK.
While early chargepoints were free to use, it now costs around £1.50 to charge an electric vehicle for an hour, paid via smartphone apps. Rapid chargers cost an average of £3 per 45 minutes, though prices vary according to access and supplier.
The government has invested £1.5bn in its Road to Zero strategy, in an effort to ease the transition from petrol and diesel to electric-powered vehicles.
It also cut grants for buyers of new eco-friendly cars in autumn last year, getting rid of incentives to purchase plug-in hybrid vehicles, which run on a combination of combustion engines and battery power, and slashing the grant for pure electric vehicles from £4,500 to £3,500.
Alternatively-fuelled vehicles such as pure electrics and plug-in hybrids made up 6.6 per cent of the new car market in May, compared with 5.6 per cent during the same month in 2018.
The government announced its intentions to scrap the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040 as part of plans to boost air quality in the UK last summer, a target which has been criticised for being too lax.
A report from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee in October last year called for the ban to be brought forward to 2032, calling the effectively zero emission by 2040 plan both “vague and unambitious.”
Sir James Dyson accused the government of “watering down” its commitment to electric vehicles after failing to take his advice to ban petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.
The British inventor, 72, said he met with prime minister Theresa May’s PPSs, (parliamentary private secretaries, who work on behalf of senior ministers in government) last year, only for the government to announce the 2040 deadline a few days later.