Electric vehicle (EV) charging legislation for developments in the UK

An overview of how Building Regulations changed in 2022 to ensure the provision of chargepoints in developments in England, along with a summary of the requirements in other parts of the UK.

Last updated: Aug 23, 2022 5 min read

Summary

The UK government's new EV charging requirements came into force in England as of June 2022, as part of an overhaul of the country’s Building Regulations:

  • Every new home, including those created from a change of use, with associated parking must have an EV chargepoint.

  • Residential buildings undergoing a major renovation which will have more than 10 parking spaces must have at least one EV chargepoint per dwelling with associated parking, along with cable routes in all spaces without chargepoints.

  • All new non-residential buildings with more than 10 parking spaces must have a minimum of one chargepoint and cable routes for one in five (20%) of the total number of spaces.

  • All non-residential buildings undergoing a major renovation that will have more than 10 parking spaces must have a minimum of one chargepoint, along with cable routes for one in five spaces.

Update: With the introduction of the Part S Regulations on June 15th 2022, developers aren’t currently compelled to install active charging points into covered car parks; they only have to fit cable routes. This exemption is the result of a query raised during the formal consultation, and in the absence of clear existing research the government decided not to mandate this in these circumstances at this time.

Independent research has been commissioned and is being drafted at the time of writing (June 2022). It’s anticipated a formal guidance note and recommendations will follow shortly.

At present, no changes have been announced for EV charging requirements for Wales and Northern Ireland. However, the Scottish Government will be putting forward secondary legislation to update their Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 with similar new requirements.

The objective of EV charging regulations

In 2021, the government brought forward the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040 to 2030.

To encourage swift uptake the charging infrastructure must develop everywhere we park our cars, slightly ahead of organic demand from drivers.

The government may make some direct investments to seed the market and address any ongoing/potential areas of market failure. However, the government’s view is that most charging infrastructure will be privately funded.

To encourage this, they plan to use the new Building Regulations to ensure adequate charging infrastructure is provided in developments with suitable parking.

    Tip: Requirements for high proportions of charging point provision can exceed the site’s supply. In order to mitigate this, Pod Point offer load balancing solutions which increase the maximum number of chargepoints you can power from a given supply. You can ask our specialist team for advice on your specific circumstances.

    What were the old regulatory requirements for the provision of electric vehicle charging?

    There were originally no UK wide regulatory or legislative requirement for EV charging provision, but several cities and local authorities had their own requirements.

    The leading local policy regarding the inclusion of chargepoints in new developments was the London Plan, with other regional and local planning documents often taking their lead from it.

    The London Plan

    The London Plan acted as the overarching planning guidance for the 32 individual London Boroughs. Since 2011 the London Plan had provided a definition of “active” and “passive” provision of chargepoints in different development types.

    • Active” - “An actual socket connected to the electrical supply system that vehicle owners can plug their vehicle into”.
    • Passive” - “The network of cables and power supply necessary so that at a future date a socket can be added easily”.

    The London Plan required any developments or major refurbishments that require planning to provide the following.

    Parking for

    Percentage of bays with “active” chargepoint provision

    Percentage of bays with “passive” chargepoint provision

    Residential development

    20%

    20%

    Retail development

    10%

    10%

    Employment uses

    20%

    10%


    This guidance was then interpreted into each Borough’s own planning regime.

    Edinburgh Design Guide

    Perhaps the next most established regulations on the provision of charging infrastructure was Edinburgh City Council’s “Edinburgh Design Guide” (2017), which called for the following:

    Parking for

    Percentage of bays with “active” chargepoint provision

    Percentage of bays with “passive” chargepoint provision

    Individual house

    0%

    100%

    Residential development with 10+ spaces

    20%

    0%

    Non-residential development with 10+ spaces

    20%

    0%


    Also note that the Edinburgh Design Guide required rapid charging (50kW) provision for all non-residential developments with 10+ spaces. With each 50kW unit costing circa 30x the cheapest 7kW unit, this measure was controversial, particularly for smaller developments.

    Remainder of the UK

    While there was not a universal, or consistent approach to chargepoint provision, many local authorities had developed their own guidance which was often built on the London Plan model.

    Tip: The approach of mandating proportions of active chargepoints can cause challenges with which bays should receive them, particularly on sites where bays would normally be allocated. For guidance we recommend you speak to our Built Environment team.

    When did the new Building Regulations come into force?

    The new Building Regulations came into effect in June 2022:

    • The Government has set out an adjustment period of a minimum of 6 months from the date of the laying of the regulations and the new requirements coming into force.

    • Initial/ building notices or full plans submitted within this 6-month adjustment period must begin building work no later than 12 months after the Buildings Regulations come into force, otherwise the new regulations will apply.

    • The outcome of the Scottish Government’s consultation on changes to Building Regulations has yet to be announced.

    Tip: For advice we recommend contacting the Pod Point Built Environment team.

    • Share this guide