EV charge points will use off-peak default to protect electricity grid

14 September 2021

The Government is enabling regulations which will mean that electric vehicle charge points installed at people’s homes and workplaces from May 2022 will be pre-programmed to default to draw energy from the electricity grid at off-peak times to ease pressure on the network.

The Government’s views were set out in its response to the 2019 Consultation on EV Smart Charging, which it published in July this year.

Regulations are due to be implemented for all new chargers to be smart (capable of shifting charge time to a different time of day). As part of this change, regulations will mean that new chargers will be pre-set not to draw charge from 8am to 11am and 4pm to 10pm. However fleet operators and vehicle owners will be able to override the preset times. The rules will not apply to public chargers and rapid chargers on motorways and A-roads.

In addition, new regulations mean that a ‘randomised delay’ of up to 30 minutes, when there is high demand from motorists, will also be introduced in order to avoid stressing the electricity network.

In its response to the consultation, the Government said it will mandate that smart chargepoints must prompt users to input a charging schedule during first use. In addition, smart chargepoints must be pre-set to offer users a charging schedule that by default prevents EVs from charging at peak times. However, during first use, the user must be given the opportunity to edit or remove the setting and the user must also be able to remove or edit this default setting at a later date.

In the future, policy makers intend that vehicle to grid (V2G) bi-directional charging will help with grid balancing, using plugged-in cars as energy sources when demand is high.

The Zemo Partnership-convened EV Energy Taskforce recommended the changes to the Government.

Jonathan Murray, EV Energy Taskforce lead for Zemo Partnership said: “The Government’s proposals are an important first step in ensuring EV charging is done in a way to protect the electricity system and reduce costs to consumers. We will need to make EV charging an integral part of the energy system as the EV market grows during the coming decade. “