Smart Transport

New regulator Ofcharge proposed to ensure equal access to EV charge points

Electric car charging

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has proposed launching a new regulator called Ofcharge to ensure every part of the country has accessible, available and affordable charging for their electric vehicle (EV).

The SMMT published a new seven-point plan that says while most current plug-in car drivers charge at home, public charge points remain critical to consumer confidence and are still relied upon by many fleets, as well as the third of British households that do not have designated off-street parking.

The plan, designed to drive collaboration between Government, industry and all other stakeholders, calls for mandated targets for infrastructure rollout, backed by an independent regulator to keep consumers at the heart of planning.

The new regulatory body, ‘Ofcharge’ (the Office of Charging), would monitor the market, including charging price levels and affordability, and to enforce regulated minimum standards.

The SMMT says that this would keep the consumer at the heart of infrastructure planning and rollout to ensure every region of the UK is in readiness for the end of sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030, with a unified approach bringing together drivers, charge point operators, energy companies and local authorities.  

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, explained: “Our plan puts the consumer at the heart of this transition, assuring them of the best possible experience backed by an independent regulator.

“With clear, equivalent targets and support for operators and local authorities that match consumer needs, Government can ensure the UK has a charge point network that makes electric mobility a reality for all, cutting emissions, driving growth and supporting consumers across the UK.”

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