22 Year Deadline
The UK government has announced that there will be no new petrol or diesel vehicles in the UK from 2040. According to RIBA’s ‘Practice News’, if you are not already including electric vehicle charging points in new buildings already – you should be.
Seminars Booked Solid
One of the UK’s leading providers of electric car charging systems, POD Point, reports that seminars are booked solid and considers expanding its programme to meet rising interest. Their Head of Built Environment, James Stevens, reckons that the great switchover is already here.
Entire Building Lifecycle
In his view, a rethink on planning ahead is overdue. ‘Looking ahead thirty years plus, designers need to assume that every car will be electric, so it is prudent to plan for provision of a charging point for every parking space to save retrofit costs down the line,’ he says.
LPA’s Acting in Absence of PPG’s
No national planning guidance exists for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, but LPA’s are increasingly asking for these. According to POD Point, wall-mounted charging points are the most cost-effective option. © POD Point.
Demand for charging points will soon be a feature of building management. Anyone moving into an apartment with an electric car will expect a charging point. Landlords and managing agents will not be able to ignore this.
While Mayor of London, Boris Johnson got the ball rolling. He introduced a planning condition in the London Plan for 20% of parking spaces to have charging points. He also wanted the potential to add a further 20% in the future. The first larger scale projects meeting this condition began to appear in the capital from 2013-14 onwards.
… and others Follow
Leeds, parts of Manchester, Newcastle, and Liverpool, amongst other metropolitan authorities have since followed suit and put planning conditions in place. Stevens considers that architects will increasingly be asked about electric vehicle provision by developers at the outset of projects. It is set to become a key component of how buildings function in the future. ‘Architects in conjunction with the charge point manufacturers need to educate the developers and councils on the need for this infrastructure to be installed for future provision and advise on how best to implement it,’ he says.
Ease of installation is probably the key question, along with practicality. Wall-mounted units are the first choice, but, the implications for electricity loading, access and layout, cable hazards and so on need to be considered by Architects. They need to appreciate that charging bays tend to be used continuously, rather than sporadically.
Micro generation technologies, predominantly solar, and battery storage will soon become advisable. Charging points will also be expected to communicate, whether by Wi-Fi network, hard wiring, or phone signal.
The electric vehicle revolution may happen more rapidly than public policy makers anticipate. The ‘technology adoption curve’ shows the inflexion point at which new technologies take off rapidly as around 7%. Currently electric vehicles only make up around 2% of new vehicles, but with price parity between electric and petrol/diesel cars arriving as early as 2020, POD Point expects to see electric cars become progressively cheaper. The rest, as they say, will be history.
For information on the POD Point seminar click here.
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