Most of us are acutely aware of the ongoing transition to electric vehicles and that we need to be ready for the 2030 deadline when petrol and diesel cars no longer roll off the production line.
However, research by Deloitte highlights that an estimated 30,000 new public electric vehicle charging points will need to be installed over the next decade. The problem is that the current pace of that installation programme means only half of that number will be available by the target date.
The relevance of this to property developers is that this shortfall estimate highlights the importance of providing future housing solutions that include electric vehicle charging points for new developments.
If you are a property developer, you will undoubtedly be mindful of your obligation to achieve compliance with section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act. This act states that planning requirements now need to include “sustainable energy obligations”, which means that land developer EV charging needs to be addressed.
The fundamental reason behind the introduction of section 106 is to create property development charging options where new development can demonstrate that it gathers a certain amount of energy from renewable sources.
New-build EV charging delivers a viable solution to that Section 106 obligation.
In addition, when you consider the current estimated shortfall in public charging points, it would seem likely that house buyers will look for properties where the developer factored in new-build EV charging facilities into the design features.
Offering homeowners the obvious convenience of charging their electric vehicle at home will be a strong selling point, especially when you consider the perceived shortage of public EV points when they leave the house. It will also help you to achieve your property developer charging obligations.
Meeting the criteria
There will be some critical information that you need to be aware of and some decisions to make when following compliance guidelines to meet your land developer EV charging obligations in a way that satisfies the section 106 criteria.
To future proof your developments will mean liaising with local planners and confirming regional variations in policy relating to developer EV charging requirements.
Key questions you will want answers to include knowing how many EV charging points need to be installed in the property and the type of EV charges deemed acceptable.
You will find that some local councils have more stringent requirements concerning installing a minimum number of points. There might also be a ratio that you need to comply with where at least one EV charging point needs to be provided for a specific number of parking spaces.
A good starting point would be to clarify with the local planning office in the area where your development is located what the local policy is so that you can accurately calculate the right number of EV points and what is right in relation to the size and scope of the development.
The size of the property development is critical to what you will need to do in terms of supplying the right amount of EV charging points to comply with Section 106.
A cost-effective option that is well worth exploring would be to look at installing communal charging bays. It is often the case that a capacity of between one and three bays could help you meet planning and local policy obligations.
Power rating output
Another critical question is what sort of power rating output should be installed?
The general criteria are that EV charge points need to have a power rating output of at least 7kW and need to be fitted with a Type 2 (universal) socket that is suitable for all types of electric vehicles currently being produced.
The Department of Transport has already outlined that it wants to see every home installed with the capability of charging at least one electric vehicle overnight in a garage at home.
A closer look at legislation
The bottom line is that the Department of Transport is unmistakably utilising planning regulations as a leverage strategy for ensuring that the UK can accommodate large-scale adoption of electric vehicles.
Obviously, it is harder to impose these intentions retrospectively, but new property developments are fertile ground for ensuring that charging points increase in more significant number as 2030 gets nearer.
You only have to look at major cities such as London and Edinburgh to see this standpoint being implemented. The Edinburgh Design Guide and the London Plan outline long-term EV charging objectives that specify new developments install a specific number of parking spaces with either passive or active charging options for EVs.
The London Plan calls for residential developments to have 20% of bays with active ChargePoint provision. The Edinburgh Design Guide calls for the same percentage for residential developments with 10 or more spaces.
Although it is not a definitive guide, the London Plan has proved to be the blueprint for a consistent approach to charge point provision for many local authorities.
It has to be considered optimistic to expect one EV charging point per resident, and it would most likely not be a viable option for your development. Still, an acceptable compromise may well be to aim for at least three communal bays or a number commensurate with the size of the development.
When choosing a suitable EV charger option, a deciding factor would be to evaluate the charging speed the various charger types offer.
A communal charging solution would usually call for a 22kW power optimising charging point as this will offer up to an 80% charge within a two-hour window.
Putting your EV charging plan into action
It makes commercial sense to choose a provider who has the knowledge of the latest charging technologies and a solid understanding of the planning process. From the early planning stages and land preparation through to EV enablement and installation, a good provider can make all these things happen as smoothly as possible.
There is no doubt that installing EV charge points is a perfect way to future proof your development, and with the clock ticking toward the 2030 switch away from petrol and diesel cars, it could give your development an edge if you are ahead of the curve.
Catering for EV capacity is not just a case of meeting new development planning requirements but is also about adding value.
Get in touch with Clarke EV today and find out how we can help you put your EV charging plans into action.