What you need to know about the latest UK smart EV charger regulations 

Smart EV chargers charging in station

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There is an EV charging infrastructure scale up that needs to happen soon if the 2030 switch to all electric new cars is to go smoothly. This scale up offers an immense opportunity for charge point providers, forecourt operators, motorway charging operators and energy suppliers as Pelion estimate that by 2030 there will need to be 6m home charge points, 280-480k public charge points, 1.6m workplace charge points and 50-200k on street charge points.

Alongside this scale up, there is an energy capacity challenge to overcome. The EV charger regulations that came in to force on 30th June 2022 aims to get ahead of this challenge by requiring charge points be smart i.e. have a network connection making it able to send and receive certain data, that makes energy management more efficient.

This blog breaks down the regulation so you have all the detail without needing to read any legal documents.

What is ‘The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021’? 

The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021 is a UK government regulation that applies to electric vehicle (EV) charge points in England, Wales and Scotland. The regulation places a number of compliance requirements on sellers, manufacturers and commercial operators of EV chargers. The key requirements cover:

  • What smart functionality means in the context of smart EV chargers
  • Details around how energy consumption must be measured and managed including off-peak charging and random charging delays
  • Requirements for a communication network

Chargers sold from 30th June must comply to these regulations or face penalties and enforcement measures.

What are the smart functionality requirements of the EV charger regulation? 

Smart devices are electronics of any sort that can connect and interact with people and other technology. What makes them truly smart is how they use this ability to connect in useful ways. In the context of smart EV chargers the intelligence defined in the EV regulations exists to efficiently manage the electricity usage of the charger. The EV charger must be able to:

  • Send and receive information via a communications network of some type
  • Respond to signals and information the charge point receives in order to
    • Increase or decrease the rate of electricity flowing through the charge point
    • Change the time at which electricity flows through the charge point
  • Use its connectivity and functionality above in order to provide demand side response services (DSR). This is the process of adjusting electricity demand to help balance the national electricity grid
  • Provide a user interface either in the charge point itself, or made available to the owner in some other way, in order to operate the smart functionality required of this regulation.


What is the measuring system defined in the EV charger regulation? 

Smart EV chargers must measure the electricity used in watt-hours or kilowatt-hours and the amount of time the electricity is used for. Measurement must be down to every second the charger has used electricity and provide this information through the communications network.

There must also be a record kept that shows how the charger was used in the preceding 12 months, broken down by month and overall electricity usage.

Accuracy of measurement is also dictated by the EV regulation. The electricity measurement must be accurate to within 10%. Inaccuracies must not be caused by poor design of the charger. The charger therefore must be designed to be consistent and predictable, including the communications network.


What are the requirements for off-peak charging? 

The charge point must be set up with default off-peak charging hours. Peak hours are defined in the regulation as 8am – 11am and 4pm-10pm Monday to Friday. So charging outside this time would be considered off-peak, including the entire weekend.

The owner is however given the ability to accept these default hours, remove the default hours or set different charging hours when they first receive the charger. After initial set up the owner must also be able to change the default hours, including removing them entirely, and set default hours themselves. The owner can also override the default delay when required.

The only time where this flexibility is not allowed is where the charger is sold with a DSR agreement.

How does the EV charger regulation define randomised delay? 

The regulation requires smart chargers have the ability to delay charging by up to 1800 seconds (30 minutes). However, the regulations currently only require that a delay of up to 600 seconds (10 minutes) is actually applied to the start of the charge. The regulations do note that the maximum delay time must be able to be changed through the communications network.

The actual length of delay – down to the second – must be randomised.

What assurances must the charge point provider give to buyers?

When the charge point is sold it must come with a statement of compliance to The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021. The statement must also include some basic information on the charger including the model and name and address of the seller. A technical file for the charger must also be available and handed over on request. This file will include additional information such as: manufacturing information, an operating manual, relevant test results and software version of the charge point.

Sales of the charge point must be documented going back ten years.

What are the connectivity requirements of the EV charger regulation?

All smart EV chargers covered by this regulation must be able to continue EV charging even if the communications network is down. The main purpose of the communications network is to accurately measure and calculate the electricity used, down to the second. The communication network will be used throughout the life of the EV charger to make changes like the length of initial delay before charging. There is a requirement for the design of the charger to ensure consistency and predictability which would extend to the reliability of the charger’s communication network, and the security of that network. The EV regulation enforces that communications sent from the charger are encrypted.

What does the regulation say about electricity providers and maintenance? 

The regulation requires that the charger functionality is not dependent on a specific electricity supplier so it continues to work even if the supplier is changed; and that the charger must be safe for relevant people to be able to override the default charging mode, configure demand side response services and change random delay feature.

How long will the EV charger regulation be relevant?

The regulations refer to a review by the Secretary of State (for Transport) happening within five years of the regulations coming into force, which you now know to be 30th June 2022. So let’s see what June 2027 brings to the world of EV charger regulations.

Now you know what the The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021 is and how to comply with it. If you are still getting your head around what this means for you, we have two more blogs coming soon on the reason behind this regulation and the common points that get people confused about. Follow us on LinkedIn to see when these blog are posted.

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