The UK’s drive to get more electric vehicles on the road has taken a step forward with the passing of new legislation which gives the government the power to force petrol stations and motorway services to install EV chargers to ensure charging infrastructure keeps pace with market demand. 

The Automated and Electric Vehicles Act passed through Parliament last night and is seen by ministers as a significant step towards improving air quality, cutting congestion, and creating thousands of jobs.UK passes law to put more EV chargepoints on roads

The AEV Act will ensure that public chargepoints are compatible with all vehicles, standardize how they are paid for and set standards for reliability

UK Roads Minister Jesse Norman said that the Act marked “a significant milestone” in the UK’s bid to become “a world leader in the roll-out of low-emission transport”.

“The increasing automation of our cars is transforming the way we drive, and the government is steadily updating our laws in order to prepare for the future. This Act will ensure that the UK’s infrastructure and insurance system is ready for the biggest transport revolution in a century.”

He said the Act act “will also bring automated vehicle insurance in line with longstanding motor insurance practice, ensuring that motorists are covered both when they are driving, and when the driver has legitimately handed control to the vehicle.”

The measures in the new act form part of the government’s recently launched Road to Zero strategy. Britain will host the world’s first Zero Emission Vehicle summit later this year in Birmingham, promoting the UK as a world leader for investment in and uptake of zero emission vehicles.

Daniel Brown, EV Lead at the UK Renewable Energy Association, said the Act and the Road to Zero strategy “gives an important and timely boost to the development of a world-leading EV charging network in the UK”.

“The government’s Industrial Strategy laid out an ambition to build electric vehicles and batteries in the future. Significant public funds are being invested in battery research and the development of new supply chains.

“The UK, however, is not the only country with a hunger to be manufacturing these clean technologies – for example China and California’s Zero Emission Vehicle Mandates are cornerstone policies in their ambition to grow their own EV manufacturing capabilities. If an intelligent, strategically located, and reliable charging network can be deployed at speed in the UK, it will help give us an advantage in this new industrial era.” 

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