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Thoughts on new buildings in England requiring EV chargers from 2022

From next year, new homes and buildings will be required by law to install electric vehicle charging points. Here are my 10 thoughts, comments and questions in response to the news that all new homes and buildings in England will have an EV charger from next year:

1. Before it became clear earlier this year that these new rules would come into effect, we forecast that ~315k new home chargepoints (wallboxes) would be installed in the UK during 2022.

2. The UK government has said that they expect up to 145k additional chargepoints to be installed (in England) as a result of this legislation. Let’s assume that 120k of these are in homes.

3. If all of these ‘extra’ chargers are installed as soon as next year, this will increase the UK home chargepoint market by 38% versus the ‘no new legislation’ scenario.

4. In reality, these 120k additional chargers are unlikely to ‘kick in’ during next year. It typically takes 2 years – and often longer – to go from receiving planning permission to a completed building. So, permits granted in 2022 will not normally result in new homes until 2024 or later. (My understanding is that for buildings with existing planning permission, this new chargepoint legislation will not be retrospectively applied – but please comment below if you know differently!)

5. This legislation will result in a large number of home chargepoints being installed where there are no EVs – at least to begin with. Currently, only ~2.5% of UK households have 1 or more EVs. When this legislation takes effect, the large majority of wallboxes will not be in use. Is this really an efficient deployment of infrastructure?

6. With the ongoing semi-conductor shortage, and growing lead times for wallboxes (& countless other products), this will put extra pressure on UK supply chains. Will we have a situation where there are lots of idle wallboxes in new builds while EV owners can’t get hold of the products they need?

7. Housing developers are renowned for pursuing cheapest possible compliance – and who could blame them? Can we be sure that the wallboxes that are installed in new build developments are going to be ‘fit for purpose’ in 3/5/7 years’ time when they might finally be required?

8. Large housing developers – e.g. Barratt, Taylor Wimpey – will presumably be placing large orders. Will this result in lucrative contracts for the successful wallbox suppliers or a major distraction and a ‘race to the bottom’ on prices?

9. In the years ahead, the home wallbox market will continue to grow and grow, and the legislation will gradually reduce in impact. But by 2025, it may still account for an additional 20% of wallboxes being installed.

10. Will we see other European countries introduce similar legislation? You can be sure that policy makers across the continent will be closely monitoring the impacts…

If you would like to discuss the announcement further, or are interested in EV charging research, get in touch.

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