EV Smart Charging: Electric Vehicle Charger Regulation
As with all infrastructure projects, it is vital that you get it right the first time, and EV charging infrastructure is no different.
From June 30th 2022, all electric vehicle (EV) chargers sold for private use – workplace or home – must be “smart”. This means that, any new chargers you are installing must have certain capabilities. In this short guide we explain what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what you need to do about it.
What is smart charging?
Smart charging is described by the Energy Saving Trust as “a safe and convenient way of charging your electric vehicle (EV) at times when demand for electricity is lower, for example at night, or when there is lots of renewable energy on the grid.”
What this means is that a smart charge point has a digital interface or an app that enables you to plug in an EV, but it won’t charge automatically. Instead, you can pick when you want the charger to supply power to the vehicle. For example, this could be during off-peak times or when there is an abundance of renewable energy available from the grid. Some energy suppliers also offer an EV energy tariff, where your electricity provider will remotely access smart chargers to input charging times.
The key benefits of smart EV charging are that using off-peak energy reduces your charging costs, while also helping the grid infrastructure to reduce power usage during peak periods of demand.
What is the change?
The UK government’s Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021 is the relevant legislation. In essence, it mandates that all future chargers sold and installed must be smart chargers.
The requirements include:
Smart functionality of charge points includes the ability to send and receive information, respond to signals to regulate the flow of electricity through the charge point, and provide demand side response services and a user interface
Enabling the charge point to retain smart functionality even if the owner switches electricity supplier, using electricity supplier interoperability
Continued charging even if the charge point ceases to be connected to a communications network
Preventing the user carrying out an operation which could risk the health or safety of a person, through safety provisions
A measuring system, to measure or calculate the electricity imported or exported and the time the charging lasts, with visibility to the owner of this information
Security requirements consistent with the existing cyber security standard ETSI EN 303 645
Charge points must also:
Incorporate pre-set, off peak, default charging hours and allow the owner to accept, remove or change these upon first use and subsequently
Include a randomised delay function
When does it come into effect?
The government enshrined the legislation in law on 15th December 2021 and the main part of the regulations comes into effect from 30th June 2022. This mandates that new chargers must have smart functionality including the ability to monitor and report energy consumption. They also have to enable smart charging and the switching of energy suppliers without any loss of smart capabilities.
Why is this happening?
As we move towards a fully electrified future, we will be placing increasing demands on the national grid. The government wants businesses to help manage this transition by using smart chargers to avoid us all charging our EVs at times when the grid is already working hard. By ensuring that charge points have smart functionality, the government is enabling the charging of EVs when there is less demand on the grid, or when more renewable electricity is available.
Furthermore, the regulations are designed to protect businesses and consumers by setting minimum levels for charge point access, data security and protection from cyber-attacks.
Who does it affect?
The regulations cover all private EV charge points, meaning those sold for use in a domestic or workplace environment.
The regulations apply to companies like Mer that specialise in the provision of workplace EV charging. They cover any business or individual selling, offering, or advertising an electric vehicle charger for sale. In this instance, “sale” is defined by the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018, as “the act of hiring, lending, leasing or giving a charge point from one party to another.” The regulations also apply to exchanges under warranty if the exchange is made after 30th June 2022.
The regulations do not apply to private charge points which are:
sold in Northern Ireland
sold before 30th June 2022
second-hand sales between private individuals
rapid charge points
intended for use as public charge points – however, chargers could be subject to the requirements outlined in the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulations 2017
What do I do next?
If this sounds daunting, don’t panic – we’re here to help. Mer has extensive experience in smart charging and that all of our solutions will meet or exceed the new regulations.
When you purchase smart chargers from Mer you gain access to all of our expertise and assistance. We can help you with queries and any issues you might experience in creating your first Statement of Compliance.
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