Driving law changes: All home EV chargepoints will need smart chargers from next month

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The Government regulations come into effect on June 30, and are intended to help manage the strain on the National Grid with thousands of electric cars charging at once. These set out minimum standards for all home and workplace chargepoints sold in England, Scotland and Wales from that date, whereas previous rules had only applied to units funded by OZEV grant schemes.

It will also encourage drivers to use smarter tariffs to avoid charging during peak hours, which tend to be throughout the day, particularly in the evening.

The new regulations also mean that all smart chargers need to have a data connection that has the ability to measure and transmit records so that drivers can view their charging history.

David Watson, CEO at Ohme, said: “Ohme is delighted to announce that it has already completed the changes needed to make the Home Pro compliant with the new smart charger regulations arriving in July 2022. 

“Any EV drivers choosing an Ohme charger don’t need to be concerned about the new regulations as it is already compliant. 

“Existing Home Pro owners won’t have to worry either as Ohme’s class-leading app will update adding these new functions.”

Smart chargers allow drivers to select when they can charge their car to ensure it has sufficient energy levels for when they need it.

This is particularly useful if they have an EV-friendly home tariff, with some offering drivers the chance to save hundreds or even thousands of pounds per year.

New chargepoints will be pre-configured to avoid charging during peak hours, between 8am and 11am and between 4pm and 10pm on weekdays.

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In 2020, the National Grid clarified that there is enough energy to deal with the increasing number of electric vehicles on UK roads.

Graeme Cooper, Transport Decarbonisation Director at the National Grid said: “There is definitely enough energy and the grid can cope easily.

“The growth in renewable energy means this is not static and smart metering will make this more efficient. 

“For example, the growth in wind power from the extra offshore wind farms being developed will adequately meet the future demand for electrifying transport – an extra 100 terrawatt hours from our current 300 terrawatt hours consumed.

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“Preparations have been underway for a while, as we’ve been discussing how best we can work towards the green transport changeover with the Government, electricity distribution companies – who transport the energy from the grid to homes and businesses – service station operators and charge point providers for over two years.”

According to LeasePlan, an 18-month smart charging trial involving 700 drivers, noted a surge in electricity demand at 10pm as chargepoints came online after peak hours. 

To avoid this, new units will randomly defer off-peak charging sessions by 10 minutes, and allow utility companies to extend this to half an hour if grid demand is high.

Again, users will be able to override any delays and units which are set up to respond automatically to grid demand won’t have to have this feature enabled.

However, the Alliance of British Drivers did warn motorists that this legislation could allow the electricity used for charging EVs to be charged and taxed at a higher rate than domestic electricity.

The technology enacted also enables the rationing of electricity for EV charging because the Government can decide when and if an EV can be charged.

It also warned that the technology allows the electric car battery to be drained into the grid if required.

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