Complying with The UK – Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations
Last year on June 30th, 2022, the Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations came into effect in Great Britain. The UK government is committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and has announced that all new cars and vans must be fully zero emission by 2035. Electric vehicle uptake plays a key role in reaching these commitments.
As the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) continues to grow in the United Kingdom, ensuring a stable and efficient electricity grid is ever more paramount. The UK government recognized the potential strain on the grid from electric vehicles charging simultaneously and proceeded to introduce a range of measures to promote off-peak charging. (1, 2)
What is Off-Peak Charging?
“Off-peak charging” is a strategy to encourage EV owners to charge their vehicles during times when the electricity demand is lower, such as in the very early hours of the morning.
What are the Primary Benefits?
The primary benefits of off-peak charging can include:
- Balancing the Grid: Charging during off-peak times helps prevent unwanted intervals of very high demand for electricity, ensuring grid stability.
- Cost Efficiency: EV drivers can benefit from cheaper energy rates during off-peak times, leading to savings on their electricity bills.
- Supporting Renewable Energy: Off-peak times can coincide with periods when there’s an abundance of renewable energy on the grid, promoting its use.
Reducing potential strain on the electricity grid is one of the key reasons that regulations including peak hours have been put in place for home and workplace charging in Great Britain.
What does this mean for Charge Point Sellers and Owners?
For charge point sellers, one of the requirements is for charge points to have pre-set default charging hours outside of peak hours. However, to ensure flexibility, charge points must also provide the owner with the opportunity to change or remove the default hours settings for both initial and future usage. (1)
EV Charge Station Management Software – helping businesses to comply.
In this section we will delve deeper into the regulations for pre-set peak hours, default override, randomized delays, and take a look at how ChargePanel’s EV Charging Software can support EV charging businesses in meeting these requirements.
Pre-Setting Peak Hours and Default Charging Hours
Charge points should have pre-set default charging hours that are outside of peak hours. When the charge point is first used, the owner should have the option to accept these pre-set hours, remove them, or set different default charging hours. Furthermore, the owner should be able to change or remove these default charging hours at any time after the initial setup.
Through the charge station management back office, Charge station operators have the possibility to select how peak hour handling works for each charge point and pre-set the peak hours and default charging hours, these settings can then be changed by the owner at initial setup or at any time after.
The charge point should be configured to charge an EV during the default charging hours. However, the owner or end-user of the charge point must have the ability to override this default mode.
ChargePanel’s software provides information through the user interface. Prior to the start of a charging session information about peak hours and default off-peak charging hours are displayed. The owner or end-user can then allow off-peak charging to take place, choose to override the default mode and charge the vehicle immediately, or cancel the charging session and start charging at another time.
To avoid sudden spikes or drops in demand, charge points must be configured to operate a randomized delay functionality to ensure grid stability by gradually distributing the level of electricity demand over time. Charge points must also be configured to operate with a delay of random duration up to 600 seconds (10 minutes). The delay must be random (between 0 – 600 seconds), conferred to the nearest second and of different duration for each charging instance. The owner or end user must also have the possibility to manually override the delay. (1)
Duration for randomized delays can be set remotely though the charge point management software. ChargePanel’s technology computes the randomized delay and latest start time after peak hours have ended, activating the charging session. The owner, or end-user also have the option to override the delay in-line with the regulation.
By promoting off-peak charging and defining peak hours, the UK government aims to balance the needs of EV owners with the broader requirements of the national electricity grid and has been proactive in setting guidelines and regulations. At ChargePanel we believe that it’s important to support customers in the markets where they are active and provide efficient solutions as the EV charging industry grows.
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Please note: The regulations in place for domestic and workplace charging stations aren’t applicable for public charging stations or charging stations that meet specific requirements regarding demand side response (DSR) services and agreements. (1)
Complying with the Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021 – Guidance for sellers of electric vehicle charge points in Great Britain (1)
OCPP & UK Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021 (2)