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SMMT calls for independent electric car charge point regulator

Industry body publishes seven-point plan for ensuring EV charging is affordable, available and accessible

Chargers

The Government should create an independent EV charge point regulator to ensure public charging is affordable, available and accessible, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said.

The motor industry body has published a seven-point plan, which it says will “drive collaboration” between the Government and private firms via mandated targets for infrastructure.

The plan calls for consumer interests to be put first in every aspect of charging infrastructure, with the Government implementing a delivery plan that is “nationally coordinated but locally delivered”.

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The SMMT is calling for infrastructure to be developed ahead of need, with binding targets put in place for the national provision of chargers. It also wants minimum standards for consumer experience, such as contactless payment, a 99-per-cent reliability rate and pricing transparency.

As well as making it less risky for the private sector to invest in public charging, the plan calls for infrastructure to be future-proofed.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “The automotive industry is up for the challenge of a zero emission new car and van market by 2035. Delivering this ambition - an ambition that would put the UK ahead of every major market in the world - needs more than automotive investment. It needs the commensurate commitment of all other stakeholders, especially the charging industry as surveys show that range anxiety has been replaced by charging anxiety.

“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, the Government can ensure the UK has a chargepoint network that makes electric mobility a reality for all, cutting emissions, driving growth and supporting consumers across the UK.”

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