Whether you’re just considering it, or you’ve already made the switch to an electric vehicle (EV) for your courier work, it’s important to stay abreast of the legislation regarding charging points. On July 1, new government regulations came into force around the requirements for electric vehicle charging points, relating to the existing Homecharge Scheme.
If you do courier work in an electric vehicle, here’s what you need to know.
The EV Homecharge Scheme
In short, the EVHS incorporates the OLEV grant (Office for Low Emission Vehicles), which provides up to £500 towards the installation of a home charging point. To qualify, the car or van needs to be a compliant plug-in hybrid or EV. There are also various other requirements, such as having access to off-street parking and the use of an approved chargepoint.
The main change that has come into force is that, now, any government-funded chargepoints must be deemed ‘smart’. That is, they must have: “the ability to be remotely accessed and capable of receiving, interpreting and reacting to a signal”. For those doing courier work in an electric vehicle, having access to a home charging point is highly desirable – as is the opportunity to access the grant. It means that, in this case, keeping up with technology is not just smart, it’s compulsory.
Why the Smart Technology?
As we move towards a zero emission future, we need to be mindful of the effect widespread use of EVs will inevitably have on our electricity system. It’s hoped the use of smart technology will reduce the impact on the grid and encourage owners to charge at off-peak periods. In addition to new tariffs being introduced, the technology will afford access to the implementation of innovations like rooftop battery storage (for example) that can be used to reduce bills.
The government says that if costs can be kept down in this way, ‘green transport’ will lead to benefits for everyone.
Towards a Zero Emission Future in the UK
Policy Manger from the Renewable Energy Association, Daniel Brown, while welcoming the changes, has called for the government to go further and include public and workplace chargepoints in the mandate.
He makes the point that the necessary infrastructure must be set in place to ensure that EV operators are able to easily charge when they are away from home – in places like supermarkets and in car parks.
Be Smart, Be Compliant
There are over 200 models of smart home chargepoints that are eligible for the scheme. If you’re not sure about yours, or are in the market to purchase one, make sure you check the list on the government’s website first.
With the Road to Zero strategy calling for all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2040, it’s clear that for those of us who make a living doing courier work, change is inevitable. The days of gas-guzzling (and emitting) vans are all but over, and the good news is that it’s becoming easier to make the change to an EV. It’s also clear that the government is on track and on board with these new ‘smart’ charging regulations.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Numerous transport exchange businesses are networked together on their website, trading jobs and capacity through what is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.
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