A new standardised process for connecting charging infrastructure to the power grid has been adopted by all six of the distribution networks operators (DNOs) in Great Britain as they seek to “supercharge” the rollout of electric vehicles (EVs).
The same procedure will also be used for heat pump connections, slashing paperwork for installers, according to the Energy Networks Association (ENA). They have previously faced a range of different protocols depending on where they are connecting.
David Smith, chief executive of the ENA, said: “We want to help super-charge Britain’s EV rollout.
“By finding new ways to cut the amount of paperwork, we are making it easier and quicker for EV charge points to connect to the network, helping the public make the switch to cleaner, greener transportation.”
He added: “Smart technology and data are vital to ensuring that network companies run the system in a more efficient and capable way. But to do that we need to know where and when charge points and heat pumps are being installed so we can manage the system in the most reliable, flexible way possible.
“The changes announced will make it easier for installers to provide that information whilst helping network operators fulfil their responsibilities to the public.”
The new procedure covers all types of properties and businesses. The ENA is planning to digitalise the process in future and will consult with stakeholders on the best way to do this.
Ian Johnston, chief executive of the charging network Engenie, said the reforms represent a “significant step forward” in streamlining the installation of EV chargers.
“However, it remains just one piece of the EV jigsaw,” he added. “The government in particular is failing to match its own rhetoric to truly embrace the EV revolution. It must show leadership and use consumer policy, clever regulation and significant funding to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon, pollutant free transport system.”
They were also welcomed by Daniel Brown, policy manager and EV lead at the Renewable Energy Association. He said DNOs should now move towards an app-based system to allow for “extremely rapid” decision-making, noting that some companies could be installing several thousand chargers each week by the mid-2020s.
Meanwhile, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles has awarded £6 million to 17 local authorities to install nearly 350 chargers for electric taxis in places including Manchester, Brighton and Leicester.
“These new charge points for greener taxis will help accelerate a cleaner environment for people across the UK,” said automotive minister Richard Harrington.
Future of mobility minister Jesse Norman said the chargers are expected to be used by almost 4,000 vehicles, adding: “The government wants all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040. Getting the right infrastructure and investment in place is a crucial part of this.”