Proposal 7 – Introducing consumer-friendly product compatibility labelling

22 November 2019

Industry to ensure that chargepoint equipment has clear and understandable labelling to support consumer choice.

Consumer choice is important to drive competition and innovation. Empowering consumers to make informed decisions and to ‘vote with their feet’ is the most effective way of delivering consumer choice in a new and fast-moving market. This forces industry to compete for customers by constantly adapting their product offerings to users’ wants and needs and offer the best consumer experience. 

The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce has identified three main aspects to delivering consumer choice and competitive markets with regards to private chargepoints:

  1. A chargepoint retaining full smart functionality when the energy supplier is changed;
  2. A chargepoint retaining full smart functionality when the vehicle brand is changed; and
  3. A chargepoint operator being able to remotely take over a unit and offer the same level of smart functionality, for instance in response to a consumer request or because the previous operator has ceased operating. This is sometimes referred to as “smart interoperability”.

The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce believes that points one and two are important and realistic deliverables for competition and should be required as standard for all smart chargepoints, subject to specific time-limited contractual arrangements (if, for instance, a chargepoint is part of a bundle). 

On point three, it is proposed that – at least in the short-term – it is left to consumers to choose whether or not this is a desirable product attribute as described in Proposal 1 above. Consumer preferences will then force chargepoint manufacturers to respond accordingly. It follows that it must be clear to consumers, from the product labelling and other product material, what interoperability the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) can provide. 

The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce therefore proposes that Government and industry identify and define preferred labelling standards. This will allow the market to offer a range of products, with different capabilities to a consumer base that is free to make an informed choice. This proposal is complementary to Proposal 18. 

By 2021 industry must develop common labelling standards for EVSE, enforced by Government if necessary, so that consumers are aware of the forms of interoperability available from clear, comprehensible EVSE package labelling and other product material. There are a number of types of interoperability and it is proposed that generally, offering these is left as an option for EVSE providers. 

The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce

The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce

20 November 2020