Government mandate: EV chargers as standard in new UK homes

Electric car charging
CC BY 2.0 Kārlis Dambrāns

This will help with both awareness and adoption.

When Atlanta mandated that all new construction be "EV ready," I was encouraged. It's much easier to lay some extra conduit and make sure there's enough capacity in the breaker box ahead of time, leaving anyone to simply run the cable and install the charging station when the time was right.

But the UK may be about to go one better.

According to Business Green, the government's Road to Zero green transportation plan—due to be published later today—will include a mandate that all new homes be built with electric vehicle charging stations already installed.

There are several reasons why this might significantly improve adoption of electric vehicles:

Firstly, it will help with awareness. While we TreeHuggers spend a lot of time talking about Teslas, Nissan Leafs and e-bikes, I am constantly surprised by how many people have no idea these options exist. The more people see a funny looking charging device on their—or their friends'—walls and ask what it is, the more people will be educated on the fact that there are now realistic alternatives to the internal combustion engine.

Secondly, it will help with cost. While laying conduit in advance already saves money, as I argued above, installing the actual charging station upfront will reduce cost of installation even further.

Thirdly, it will help with the psychology of adoption. I have already paid for a charging station when I bought my house, yet I am not getting the benefit unless I get an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. Given the many cost advantages of driving electric already, this is one more nudge that could push many people over the top.

Finally, it will help with range anxiety for those who don't even live in those houses. As I've argued before, regardless of whether it's workplace charging stations or home charging, every new EV plug makes driving an electric vehicle that much more practical and realistic. If I can go visit Auntie Jemima in her new-build home in the suburbs, and I know I can charge up when I get there, it makes it considerably easier to plan the trip with at least one less charging stop along the way which—given the short distance of most of the trips we all take—would usually mean no charging stop at all.

Well done, Britain. It will be interesting to see what else the new Road to Zero plan includes.

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