Electric car charging infrastructure represents a ‘huge growth area’ for the UK, according to an expert at global certification expert Bureau Veritas.

Nathan Cliff, BV’s electrical principal engineer for electrical systems, says there has never been a more lucrative time to train in the installation of EV charging points.

According to latest figures, the UK needs at least 100,000 EV charging points by 2020 – a six-fold increase on the 16,500 currently available – in order to provide adequate infrastructure for the one million low-polluting vehicles expected to hit the roads over the same period.

And with a raft of companies, including budget supermarket giant Lidl and the UK electric charging firm Chargemaster, recently announcing plans to invest in building a network of charging points across the UK and Ireland, Cliff says that hotels, office car parks, retailers, business centres and universities are all set to be upgraded with the infrastructure necessary to achieve this.

“For years we’ve heard that electric cars are the future,” he said. “However, only recently have we seen the UK government, with its pledge last month to invest £1.5bn in ultra-low emission technology, and businesses make a concerted effort to create the infrastructure, such as charging points and battery storage to support this.”

Cliff said a further driver for EV infrastructure was the recent introduction of the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations.

He said the regulations set out “the most robust guidelines to-date on the practical installation of electric vehicle charging points. With an increasing number of hotels, offices, retailers and universities currently expanding their car parks to make room for this new infrastructure, it certainly represents a huge growth area for contractors and one they can take advantage of by getting up to speed on the new standard.”

He added that while the regulations “are a welcome step forward in promoting the use of electric vehicles, for many contractors it’s a case of investing the time and resources to upskill in this new business area. This starts with understanding and putting into practice the changes the regulations bring, which will no doubt be vital in creating the charging infrastructure that will be required.”