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New EV Charger Rules and New Regulations – Everything you need to know

New EV Charger Rules and New Regulations – Everything you need to know

By James Fisher

On June 30, 2022, the initial phase of the Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021 was implemented by the government. Subsequently, on December 30, 2022, the second phase of these regulations was enforced, primarily focusing on enhancing security measures.

These regulations were established to address the growing electricity demand resulting from the United Kingdom’s shift towards electric vehicles (EVs) and to bolster security protocols. According to the new regulations, the following requirements apply to newly installed chargepoints:

  1. Chargepoints must be pre-configured with a charging schedule.
  2. A random delay of up to 10 minutes must be applied at the beginning or end of a schedule, or after a power or communication interruption.
  3. Chargepoints should feature enhanced smart functionality.
  4. A tamper detection mechanism must be installed.
  5. Transparent and secure software updates must be provided.

What are the Smart Charging Regulations?

The Smart Charging Regulations have been introduced by the government in response to the increasing number of electric car owners in the UK. These regulations aim to establish legal requirements for the capabilities of home and workplace chargers.

One of the primary objectives of these regulations is to emphasise the importance of smart charging functionality. This enables chargepoints to prioritise charging during periods when there is less demand on the power grid or when there is an abundance of renewable energy supply.

In addition to promoting smart charging, the regulations have been formulated to provide end-users with more comprehensive information and statistics regarding their charging sessions. Furthermore, they offer additional security protection measures to safeguard the charging process.

Why did they happen?

The UK government’s objective of achieving net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 relies heavily on the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). To support this transition, various measures have been implemented, including financial grants targeting homeowners and businesses, as well as amendments to Building Regulations.

While the increasing number of electric cars poses a potential challenge to the energy grid, it has been affirmed that the grid can meet this demand. However, it is crucial to optimize the timeframe of EV charging to ensure the grid’s capacity is effectively utilized.

By establishing a more flexible energy system, the grid will be capable of accommodating the UK’s shift towards EVs. These changes also promote the utilization of smart charging technology and associated flexibility, facilitating the seamless integration of clean and renewable electricity into the grid.

In this manner, the regulations aim to elevate the standards within the EV charging industry and enable the development of an intelligently managed and future-proofed energy ecosystem.

What are the key features of the regulations?

Applicable from 30th June 2022:

Default charge schedule

The new requirement for chargepoints mandates the inclusion of a pre-configured default charging schedule. This schedule has been designed to exclusively charge electric vehicles (EVs) during off-peak hours when electricity demand is typically lower. The specified off-peak hours are as follows:

  • Saturdays and Sundays: Charging is excluded between 8 am and 11 am.
  • Mondays to Fridays: Charging is excluded between 4 pm and 10 pm.

Implementing this default schedule offers several advantages. Firstly, it ensures that EV owners utilizing a “Time of Use” tariff can optimize their charging costs. During off-peak hours, when electricity demand is at its lowest, energy tends to be cheaper. Additionally, this arrangement assists grid operators by shifting EV charging away from periods of high demand, thus alleviating strain on the grid.

It is important to note that for chargepoints installed on or after July 1, 2022, your vehicle will not charge by default during any time periods outside of the designated off-peak hours.

Randomised delay

In addition to the default charge schedule, chargepoints are also required to introduce randomization in the start or end of a charging session, with a maximum delay of up to 10 minutes.

This measure serves to safeguard the energy grid and local substations from sudden spikes in demand. For instance, at the beginning of the default schedule, when numerous chargepoints simultaneously activate and EVs start charging, it helps prevent overwhelming surges. Likewise, it mitigates unexpected surges following a power outage or loss of internet connection.

By introducing a random delay of up to 10 minutes, the demand for charging is distributed more evenly. Consequently, your charger may not commence or conclude the charging session immediately.

Although this may result in a slight loss of a few minutes of charging at a lower electricity rate, it is necessary to maintain the reliability of EV charging while safeguarding the energy grid.

Please note that energy companies have the option to increase the delay by up to 30 minutes, although there is currently no indication of any intention to implement a longer delay.

Increased transparency on charging stats

Drivers are now required to have access to additional information regarding their charging sessions. These statistics encompass the following details:

The total duration of power flow between the chargepoint and the vehicle during each charging session, including the amount of energy supplied measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
A comprehensive record of all charging events from the previous 12 months. These events can be viewed individually or categorized based on weekly, monthly, or yearly groupings.

Applicable from 30th December 2022:

Tamper detection mechanism

EV chargepoints are now required to incorporate a tamper detection mechanism. This mechanism is designed to detect any unauthorized attempts to remove the front cover of the chargepoint. When such tampering is detected, the mechanism promptly notifies the owner of the chargepoint.

Security event log

Owners of chargepoints are now obligated to have access to a comprehensive log of notifications concerning their charger. This log, known as a recorded security event log, allows chargepoint owners to review and monitor all relevant security events related to their charger.

Transparent firmware details

In line with the regulations’ objective to enhance transparency, users will now have visibility into the software version installed on their chargepoint. Additionally, they will be able to ascertain when a software update is scheduled or due. This provision ensures that users are well-informed about the software status of their chargepoint and can stay up to date with any necessary updates.

Updated software and security standards

The introduction of new and improved encryption and authentication standards enhances the security of chargepoints that are connected to online networks. These enhanced standards provide an additional layer of protection, ensuring the integrity and safety of the connected chargepoints.

Other requirements

The regulations encompass additional requirements that chargepoints must adhere to, including:

  1. Smart functionality: Chargepoints must possess the capability to enable drivers to charge their electric vehicles (EVs) during periods of lower demand or when there is an increased availability of clean energy. They should also be equipped to securely send and receive information across a network.
  2. Demand side response services: Chargepoints should be able to adjust their charging rates or defer charging in response to external signals. This flexibility allows energy companies to offer supplementary services, such as variable rate electricity pricing during periods of lower demand or when renewable energy supply is higher.
  3. Electricity supplier interoperability: Chargepoints must retain their smart functionality even if the user switches to a different electricity supplier. They should seamlessly integrate with various suppliers’ systems.
  4. Loss of communications: Chargepoints should continue charging the vehicle even if they lose connectivity to the user’s communication network. Interruptions in communication should not impede the charging process.
  5. Safety features: Users must not be able to perform any actions that jeopardize their own safety or the safety of others. Chargepoints must include safety measures to prevent hazardous situations.
  6. Statement of Compliance: All chargepoints sold must include a Statement of Compliance document, affirming their adherence to the regulations. This document should also provide details about the manufacturer of the chargepoint.
Written by James Fisher
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