Now that the Government has passed the Climate Change Act 2008 (2050 Target Amendment) Order 2019, the UK has an obligation to reduce its emissions to net zero by 2050. Electric vehicles (“EVs”) are considered a key component in achieving this.
As of 15 June 2022, all new homes and buildings with associated parking, such as supermarkets or workplaces, will be required to have electric vehicle charging points
There are many factors to consider:
Under the new Regulations (The Building Regulations etc. (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 (the “Regulations)”), developers will have to include charging points and infrastructure across all future residential and commercial developments.
- new residential buildings will require new EV charging points for every new home that has an associated parking space;
- if an existing residential building is undergoing major renovation and has more than 10 parking spaces then those renovations will need to include at least one EV charge point in each parking space;
- new non-residential buildings, and existing non-residential buildings again with more than 10 parking spaces, will need to have at least one EV charging point and ‘enabling infrastructure’ for at least one in five of the spaces.
Commercial landowners may want to ensure that provisions are built into their leases to cover EV infrastructure, including:
- rights for tenants to use EV charge points;
- the allocation of EV charge points between tenants;
- how costs are recharged;
- who is responsible for repairing and maintaining and if necessary, replacing the EV charge points;
- any rights of access the landlord needs in connection with EV infrastructure;
- prohibiting tenants from granting wayleaves to EV charging network providers without landlord’s consent.
Parking spaces converted to EV charger points would also mean reducing spaces for fuel vehicles, and therefore competing demands would need to be balanced.
Tenants may also face an increase in service charge, to cover installation and repair costs and use of the EVs.
EVs are an important factor in the UK remaining at the forefront of the response to tackling climate change but this will require substantial investment, particularly in upgrading existing properties, if the UK is to meet its net zero target. The current number of EV chargers in the UK is approximately only 25,000. The new Regulations are vital in driving the installation of the necessary infrastructure to increase this number, and thereby encourage businesses and consumers to adopt EVs. It will be interesting to see how the property and electrical energy industry will cope and evolve on the journey to the UK achieving net zero.