UK Transport Minister Rachel Maclean has announced that the government and charity sector will be coming together to set accessibility standards for charging points in the UK. The aim is to provide the industry with guidance on how to make individual charge points more accessible by summer 2022
In partnership with the national disability charity Motability, the Department for Transport (DfT) has commissioned the British Standards Institute (BSI) to develop accessibility standards for EV charge points across the country. These standards will provide industry with guidance and drivers with a new clear definition of ‘fully accessible’, ‘partially accessible’ and ‘not accessible’ public EV charge points.
The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), Motability and BSI will be working with industry stakeholders including EV charge point operators, disability charities and innovators. The UK government has said that accessibility standards will involve attention to different aspects such as kerb height, adequate space between bollards and charge points being of a height suitable for wheelchair users.
Barry Le Grys MBE, Chief Executive Officer at Motability, said: “There is a risk that disabled people are left behind as the UK’s transition to electric vehicles approaches and Motability wants to ensure that this does not happen. We welcome the interest from government in our research on electric vehicle charging and accessibility.”
Motability is also working with Designability, a charity that creates products to enable disabled people to live with greater independence. The organisation is engaging with disabled drivers to identify their requirements for accessible charging. The gathering of information is already well under way and 1,000 disabled drivers have volunteered to give feedback to Motability and Designability on how we can make electric vehicle charging accessible for all.
Catharine Brown Chief Executive at Designability said: “Our expertise in working with disabled people makes us perfectly placed to find solutions to these everyday challenges – which will only increase as more people want to drive electric cars.”
Charging infrastructure has been an important issue in the UK since the British Isles set a date for the sales stop of purely combustion engines for 2030. In the most recent events, just this week Zouk Capital announced a £6.4m investment into Char.gy, an on-street EV charge point operator and eMSP (eMobility Service Provider), which is rolling out on-street residential electric vehicle charging points in the UK. Just last month in May, UK energy regulator Ofgem approved a £300 million investment (around 348 million euros) for over 200 low carbon projects to get Britain ready for more electric transport. This will see the instalment of 3550 EV chargers across the UK as part of a £40 billion investment in greener energy.
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