Councils face statutory duty on EV infrastructure

Dominic Browne

The Government is considering imposing a statutory duty on local authorities to plan and deliver for electric vehicle infrastructure.

The move is part of a regulatory review of the zero emission vehicles landscape, which could introduce a raft of new legislation and regulations to support the uptake of electric vehicles. 

A consultation is being carried out through the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) - a cross-departmental government team - on the potential changes, including new legal duties for councils in England and Wales.

Primary legislation and regulatory shake-up

Under the wider plans, primary legislation would give ministers the power to introduce requirements in four areas:

  • a statutory obligation to plan for and provide charging infrastructure
  • requirements to install chargepoints in non-residential car parks
  • new powers to support the delivery of the Rapid Charging Fund
  • requirements to improve the experience for electric vehicle consumers

OZEV said this 'will ensure that there is a sufficient charging infrastructure and appropriate consumer protections in place to meet the needs of electric vehicle drivers'.

Ahead of any secondary legislation to introduce the statutory requirement on local authorities, the Government would consult on the duty, including any relevant definitions, metrics and other measures applicable.

OZEV said other options include placing the duty on chargepoint operators themselves, or energy companies.

Currently, local charging infrastructure provision such as on-street and rapid hubs is installed at the discretion of local authorities.

OZEV argued that while many local authorities have taken positive steps towards planning this infrastructure 'others have not yet identified what is needed and risk not meeting the current and future needs of their communities'.

The news comes after the National Infrastructure Commission recommended that Government should place a requirement on local authorities to allocate 20% of their parking spaces, including on-street, to be converted to electric vehicle charge points by 2025.

Car parks

OZEV is also seeking powers to require landowners in England to provide a minimum level of EV charging infrastructure in non-residential car parks.

These powers would apply to all existing non-residential car parks and new non-residential car parks, not associated with a building. The move follows a government pledge to lay legislation e before parliament later this year that would require new residential and non-residential buildings with car parks to have EV charging infrastructure.

The new proposals for car parks would apply to

  • existing non-residential car parks and new non-residential car parks that are not covered by existing legislation
  • both publicly accessible and restricted access car parks provided for a particular group (such as workplace car parks)

If these new powers were granted OZEV would identify an appropriate enforcement body that can operate at a local level to monitor the implementation.

'For example, we are considering local weights and measures authorities or local authority building control bodies, with enforcement bodies able to apply a scheme of penalties.

Customer experience 

Following Government moves to improve reliability and ease of payment on the public charging network, OZEV is proposing new primary powers to:

  • ensure adequate consumer protections when encountering issues using the public charging infrastructure
  • set accessibility (inclusive design) and safety standards at public chargepoints
  • mandate aspects of chargepoint design such as familiarity, look and feel, and which will include accessibility and safety features

There would also be new powers to require financial redress for consumers and penalties if bodies breach any of the requirements. Ahead of introducing secondary legislation, the Government would consult on any proposed approaches.

Rapid charging fund (RCF)

The upcoming £950m RCF is designed to future-proof electrical capacity at motorway and major A road service areas in England.

It is not open for applications yet, however the Government has identified a legal risk 'because the majority of motorway service areas in England have an exclusive provider of open access chargepoint services'. This could lead to any funding being challenged on state subsidy or other grounds.

As a result the Government is considering new powers to make the exclusive elements of existing chargepoint service arrangements void and unenforceable.

Service area operators and large fuel retailers would be required to:

  • tender chargepoint service contracts openly
  • have a minimum of 2 – and at some sites more than 2 – different chargepoint operators at any particular site

The consultation closes on 22 November. You can find out how to respond and all the details here.

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue


  • Smart motorways' BCR problem
  • New lighting decision support tool



View the latest issue

Highways jobs

Highway Engineer - Reactive Maintenance

£35,354 - £40,506 incl. LWA, plus £963 car allowance
We make a difference to the environment we live in. Come and help us manage our highway infrastructure. Bracknell, Berkshire
Recruiter: Bracknell Forest Borough Council

Maintenance Manager

£43,857 to £47,782
We are currently looking for a strong candidate to take up the role of Maintenance Manager at Area 6 Boroughbridge. Boroughbridge, York
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Engineer Sustainable Development

£32,234 - £36,922 per annum
To help support this key area of work, we are looking for an enthusiastic, experienced and forward thinking Engineer to... Stafford, Staffordshire
Recruiter: Staffordshire County Council

Senior Engineer (Streetscene)

£40,632 - £45,594
We are looking for 2 Senior Engineers to join our team to help deliver effective Capital and Revenue investments programmes to... Hackney, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Hackney London Borough Council

Neighbourhood Highway Officers - West and North

£28,672 per annum
We are seeking a recruit two Neighbourhood Highway Officers (NHO), to be based in Okehampton and Tiverton, Devon. Devon
Recruiter: Devon County Council

Warehouse Assistant/Driver

£20,903 - £24,491 per annum
The successful applicants will work as part of a team in a busy work environment to carry out warehouse and... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recruiter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Planning Policy Manager

£61.470 - £64.704
Be part of Greenwich's vision to successfully accommodate a high level of sustainable growth, which... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Refuse Driver (Rolling Advert - applications checked weekly)

£30.032 - £31.610
It is an exciting time in Street Services at the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Be part of a team who are... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Traffic Engineer

£32,301 - £37,491
We are currently looking for an experienced Traffic Engineer to join our Design & Engineering team.  London (Greater)
Recruiter: Hackney London Borough Council

Apprentice Civil Engineering Technician

This opportunity is primarily based out of our West Offices in the heart of York. York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

Traffic Enforcement Manager

£40,869 - £43,860
As part of a major service transformation, Haringey is seeking to recruit to a new number of new positions. Haringey, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Haringey London Borough Council

Refuse Driver

£30032 - £31610 per annum + (amount shown is salary plus allowances)
Refuse Driver (LGV Chargehand Driver)(starting total pay of £30,032 - this is made up of the base grade salary plus contractual overtime and allowance England, London, Woolwich
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Corporate Director (Environment, Communities & Leisure)

Up to £83,424 (pay award pending)
As one of our two Corporate Directors reporting to the Chief Executive to form our Senior Leadership Team your... Gedling, Nottingham
Recruiter: Gedling Borough Council

Senior Infrastructure Engineer

£45.834 - £56.141
This is a great role in a vibrant and growing team; we’re looking for people with significant experience in... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Parking Service Business Manager

£43,860 - £46,839
As part of a major service transformation, Haringey is seeking to recruit to a new number of new positions. Haringey, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Haringey London Borough Council

Roads Technician

£18,812 - £23,791
This is a great opportunity for you to join Lincolnshire County Council's Technical Services Partnership as... Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Roads Engineer

£25,991 - £35,745
We are looking for people to join one of our three Roads teams, made up of around 30 friendly and enthusiastic professionals. Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Senior Project Manager

Up to £50,823 per annum
The role of this post is to oversee the project management, development and implementation of the County Council’s Major Transport Projects.. Leicestershire
Recruiter: Leicestershire County Council

Programme and Change Delivery Manager (Spatial Planning and Urban Design)

£43,833 - £53,115 Depending on skills and experience
Are you a change delivery manager with expertise in England’s local government spatial planning and urban design sector? Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Bridges Manager – Highways and Transportation

£49,320 to £57,376
You will be responsible for... Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Highways Presents

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Video