Guides & Advice

The future’s bright – the future is electric vehicle charging points

Published: 21st January 2021
Area: Corporate & Commercial

You might not have felt it, but on 30 June 2020, the first rumblings of a tectonic shift in the housing market began with the first reading of a bill which aims to set minimum standards for new developments.

Housebuilders and residential developers, would be well advised to have a look at these development standards now. The standards could be implemented at any point in the lifespan of many residential developments, and could therefore result in developers having to expensively retrofit properties to bring them up to standard. The wording of the draft law will be debated in March of this year, but the three key themes are clear. The bill proposes that all new builds must have:

• Full fibre-optic broadband (rather than a mixture of copper and fibre);
• An EPC rating of C or higher; and
• ‘The electric vehicle charging points that are needed’.

There is not a lot of information yet about how many charging points would be sufficient for a development. Some guidance suggests that all new residential buildings with a car parking space should be built with a charge point, other guidance suggests one charging point per 10 parking spaces. At the moment though, the raw numbers are less important than how those charge points are deployed.

A charge point on every drive

This gives the most utility to residents, but it also places the greatest burden on the cables and wires distributing power to the estate. Where electricity distribution networks need reinforcement, the developers requesting it will be responsible for the full upfront cost. They will be able to recoup some of their expenditure as future parties join downstream, but this is no consolation when large amounts of working capital are being invested in buried cables. The size of the potential spike in demand caused by many residents charging their cars at the same time could result in an eye-watering expensive network reinforcement, and these expenses will either come out of developers’ profit, or purchasers’ pockets.

So – is it just doom and gloom? Not necessarily. If developers start planning a development to incorporate communal EV charging infrastructure, rather than individual ones, a convincing case could be made that fewer charging points are required. Particularly adventurous developers could do well to start thinking about incorporating electric vehicles into a wider development eco-system, with charge points, solar panels, and district heating systems all owned and operated by a management company that works on behalf of the residents. Early adopters are already showing how demand spikes can be smoothed by turning off chargers when power is at a premium and turning them back on when it is cheap or generated on-site.

These business models are still being trialled and developed, and developers will need to take advice on a site by site basis to ensure they do not fall foul of the laws regulating electricity supply, generation and distribution. However, the direction of travel is clear, and though trial villages are underway, any developer who can turn this additional forthcoming regulation to their advantage will have a head start in this very competitive market.

Contact us

For further information on this fast-moving subject, do contact Isaac Murdy or another member of our energy team in your local office.

How can we help?

Our expert lawyers are ready to help you with a wide range of legal services, use the search below or call us on: 0330 024 0333

SHMA® ON DEMAND

Listen to our SHMA® ON DEMAND content covering a broad range of topics to help support you and your business.

Standard Method – the implications for plan-making and development opportunities across the East Midlands

4 Mar

David Pendle, Associate Director | Andrew Gore, Partner
Standard Method – the implications for plan-making and development opportunities across the East Midlands

This webinar will focus on what on the implications are for plan-making across the […]

Covid-19 vaccine – what employers need to know

10 Mar

Matt McDonald, Partner
Covid-19 vaccine – what employers need to know

In this webinar, Matt McDonald – partner in our employment team – will discuss […]

Agriculture: Agricultural Tenancies and Tenancy Reform

11 Mar

Peter Snodgrass, Partner & Head of Agriculture | Jennie Wheildon, Legal Director
Agriculture: Agricultural Tenancies and Tenancy Reform

Peter Snodgrass and Jennie Wheildon will be in conversation discussing how to identify the […]

When does a mental health condition become a disability? Managing mental health in the workplace

17 Mar

Matt McDonald, Partner
When does a mental health condition become a disability? Managing mental health in the workplace

We will cover: Recognising mental health issues in the workplace, what employers can do, […]

Standard Method – the implications for plan-making and development opportunities across the East Midlands

4 Mar

David Pendle, Associate Director | Andrew Gore, Partner
Standard Method – the implications for plan-making and development opportunities across the East Midlands

This webinar will focus on what on the implications are for plan-making across the […]

Agriculture: Brexit and the impacts on farmers and land owners

25 Feb

Peter Snodgrass, Partner & Head of Agriculture
Agriculture: Brexit and the impacts on farmers and land owners

Peter Snodgrass, Head of Agriculture at Shakespeare Martineau, will be in conversation with Jason […]

DIY Will Drafting and Digital Assets – what can go wrong?

25 Feb

Debra Burton, Legal Director
DIY Will Drafting and Digital Assets – what can go wrong?

Discussing the common problems encountered with badly drafted Wills including construction issues, the risk […]

IR35 – what changes are expected in April 2021?

24 Feb

Rhys Wyborn, Partner
IR35 – what changes are expected in April 2021?

In this webinar, Rhys Wyborn – partner in our employment team reminds employers of […]

Our Latest Thoughts

All the latest views and insights on current topics.

The Job Retention Scheme Your questions – answered

3 Mar

Corporate & Commercial

The Job Retention Scheme Your questions – answered

Read article Right Arrow

Shakespeare Martineau advises on multi-million pound sale of Prolectric

3 Mar

Corporate

Shakespeare Martineau advises on multi-million pound sale of Prolectric

Read article Right Arrow

Homeworking: how to deal with workplace injuries

2 Mar

Employment

Homeworking: how to deal with workplace injuries

Read article Right Arrow

Shakespeare Martineau supports Solid State in multi-million pound acquisition

1 Mar

Firm News

Shakespeare Martineau supports Solid State in multi-million pound acquisition

Read article Right Arrow

How do the current travel restrictions impact businesses? | COVID-19

26 Feb

Business Immigration

How do the current travel restrictions impact businesses? | COVID-19

Read article Right Arrow