By law, from June 30 2022, in the UK, all new electric car charge points must have ‘smart functions’. If you have a charger installed before this date, then there is no need to panic, and you will not be required to remove it.
However, many current EVCs (Electric Vehicle Chargers) will be removed from the market. If you are looking for an EVC, there is no reason to worry, as all reputable companies have been aware of this change for some time and will not sell you something that is no longer up to code.
The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021 were signed into law on December 15, 2021, by the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018. Previously the only rules in place were those that used the OZEV grant scheme, where additional regulations were required when installed.
All smart chargers will now need to have a data connection that can measure and transfer data so that drivers can view their charging history. Doing so will help to determine the cost of charging your vehicle.
These new terms will not mean you can’t buy a non-smart unit up to the change in legislation, you can, and they are safe to do so.
Other legislations include security requirements which will be introduced on December 30, 2022.
The regulations will not apply to all charging points, only to those called “relevant” charge points. Excluded from the rules will be specific public charging points and rapid charger points with a power of at least 50kW. These chargers are for here-and-now charging, located at service stations when a charge is needed while on the road.
If you are worried about the speed of your internet and don’t believe that you will be compliant, then again, do not worry; if you have a compliant unit, you are good to go. You will also not be accountable for any miss-sold products, and it is down to the manufacturers and sellers to ensure you get regulated chargers.
What is changing for Electric Vehicle charges?
All home and workplace EVCs will need Smart capability from June 30 2022. These new regulations have been introduced to help prevent overcharging that will put pressure on the National Grid. Ensuring a stable flow of electricity around the country will avoid 1000s of EVs charging simultaneously, and it will save money and relieve stress on our electricity consumption at any time. Peak times vary depending on where you read, but it is between 4-9 pm when most are home using increased electricity.
Smart charging will prevent this from happening as it will help spread the charge over a more extended period. For most people, this will not be a concern. Most put their cars on to charge when they get home and take them off charge in the morning. So, when it gets charged in between getting home and the morning doesn’t matter.
You may wonder, what if I am going out after work and need to charge my car? Luckily, this has been considered, and you can override this process when required and charge the EV fully when needed. This smart charging feature is designed to spread the load, but it is not there to penalise or restrict charging. Initiating these changes will benefit us all economically and the country’s infrastructure. Remember this is not to have a negative impact on charging your electric vehicle as you are still in control. Smart charging is there to help our electric infrastructure, so enabling smart charging will benefit us all when possible.
The term “Dumb Charger” refers to EVCs that are just more powerful plug sockets from which your EV can be charged from. They have no distinct features and are simply basic charging points. There will be no schedule charge, battery limits, kWh pricing capabilities, data collection, or solar integration.
However, with all 3-point sockets, basic data can still be collected, and if your vehicle comes with an app, then scheduled charging can be implemented. The socket itself has no app capabilities.
The advantages of dumb chargers are that they are plug and play, and there is no need for an internet connection or additional features. These are always handy as secondary charges, for example, workplaces, construction yards, farms, and any out-of-the-way places.
The disadvantages are that you can not monitor charging, costs and power input which can cause short circuits in extreme cases.
What are the new security regulations for Electric Vehicle Charging?
We all want to be safe while using any smart device. These new regulations are enforced to ensure we are as safe as we can be when using an EVC.
The new regulations for security are broken down into eleven points. The information below is from the posted government document.
- Against the risk of harm to, or disruption of, the electricity system.
- Against the risk of harm to, or disruption of, the relevant charge point.
- For the personal data of the owner and any other end-user of the relevant charge point.
A relevant charge point must be configured so that where passwords are used on it.
- The password is unique to that relevant charge point and not derived from, or based on, publicly available information or is set by the owner
- The password cannot be reset to a default password applying to both the relevant charge points and other charge points.
A relevant charge point must incorporate software which can be securely updated. This will help prevent cyber-attacks.
A relevant charge point must be configured so that;
- It checks, when it is first set up by the owner, and periodically thereafter, whether there are security updates available for it.
- It verifies the authenticity and integrity of each prospective software update by reference to both the data’s origin and its contents and only applies the update if the authenticity and integrity of the software have been validated.
- By default, it provides notifications to the owner about prospective software updates.
- The owner can implement software updates without undue difficulty.
A relevant charge point must be configured so that;
- It verifies, via secure boot mechanisms, that its software has not been altered other than in accordance with a software update which has been validated
- If an unauthorised change to the software is detected, it notifies the owner and does not connect to a communications network other than for the purposes of this notification.
Sensitive security parameters
This is to ensure that all information and points of contact have legitimate credentials,
- Where security credentials are stored on the relevant charge point, these are protected using robust security measures.
- Its software does not use hard-coded security credentials.
- A relevant charge point must be configured so that communications sent from it are encrypted.
A relevant charge point must be configured so that:
Data inputs are verified so that the type and format of the data is consistent with that expected for the function to which the data relates.
- If such data cannot be verified, it is discarded or ignored by the relevant charge point in a safe manner.
Ease of use
A relevant charge point must be configured to minimise the inputs required from the owner in connection with the set-up and operation of the charge point.
Protection against attack
- A relevant charge point must be designed and manufactured to provide an adequate level of protection against physical damage to the charge point.
- A relevant charge point must incorporate a tamper-protection boundary to protect the internal components of the charge point.
- A relevant charge point must be designed and manufactured to provide an adequate level of protection.
- Relevant charge point must be configured so that;
- If there is an attempt (whether successful or not) to breach the tamper-protection boundary, it notifies the owner.
- Its software runs with only the minimum level of access privileges required for it to deliver its functionality.
- Any logical or network interfaces that are not required for the normal operation of the relevant charge point, or otherwise to comply with the requirements in these Regulations, are disabled.
- Software services are not available to the owner unless necessary for the relevant charge point to operate.
- Any hardware interfaces that are used for the purposes of testing or development, but not otherwise during the operation of the relevant charge point, are not exposed.
- A relevant charge point must incorporate a security log, where data from usage can be recorded.
Requirements for a security log will comprise
- breach of the tamper-protection boundary.
- tamper with the relevant charge point; or
- gain unauthorised access to the relevant charge point.
- Entries in the security log must record, by reference to Coordinated Universal Time, the time and date on which the event occurred.
Provision of information
The information must specify how the owner can report concerns or problems identified regarding the security of the relevant charge point, including regarding its vulnerability to a cyber-attack. In particular, the information must provide contact details to which such concerns or problems can be reported.
The information must specify the period, if any, for which software updates will be provided by or on behalf of the relevant charge point manufacturer.
The information must
- Provide guidance on how to set up the relevant charge point with adequate security protection.
- Include instructions on how to delete personal data from the relevant charge point.
How will this affect current EV Chargers?
Disappointingly for many manufacturers, they will no longer be able to sell stock EVCs that do not include smart capabilities. Manufacturers have had time to adapt to the changes, with many already considering smart charging as standard, so it should not have a substantial negative impact.
Wallbox has been working closely with the UK regulators and has secured an extension allowing them to continue selling the Pulsar Plus and Copper SB past June 30 2022. However, they have ceased manufacturing these units indefinitely, so although available for sale, they will now be in limited supply.
New software updates will be released in due course for the Pulsar Plus that will meet all new regulations ensuring every user will be compliant with the new rules.
The Copper SB will also be fully compliant in the coming months and can be sold before the required updates. All newly manufactured Copper SB chargers will be eligible for the latest updates.
Wallbox can also confirm that they are working hard to meet all new security requirements that will come into force from December 30 2022.
There is terrible news for the Commander 2 charger as this will not meet the Smart Charge Points Regulations, so it will then be unable to be purchased within the UK.
The Quasar product can continue to be sold as part of a Demand Side Response program along with the Pulsar Max, which is already compliant with the full Smart Charge Points Regulations 2021.
You do not need permission to install an EV charger. It is wise to make sure you get it installed by a qualified engineer to ensure you and your property are safe. Under the Town and Country Planning Act 2015, there are permitted development rights for charging points under 1.6m installed.
There is a buffering system within an EV battery where they can never fully be depleted or charged to 100%. Doing so will prevent failure in the battery or overheating. Ideally, it would help if you never let your vehicle drain below 10% and charging to a maximum of 80% is advised as this can prolong the length of the battery. Any more than 80% can cause the battery to begin deteriorating.
The transport department has issued new regulations to include that all new residential homes and buildings must have an electric car charging point and applies from June 15 2022. For all properties with residential parking, there will also be mandatory EVC present for the occupiers
The government in the UK has set a course to ban petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. They will then ban hybrid vehicles by 2035. After this date, all new cars sold in the UK must be fully electric.
Concern for many within the car manufacturing industry is evident. They fear there will not be enough vehicles to present to the market due to coronavirus, computer chip shortages and inflation. Watch this space as this deadline may need revisiting.
The ban is only on manufacturing cars. Petrol and diesel cars will drive the street for a long time to come. You will still be able to get regular fuel from fuelling stations and will not incur any penalties for doing so. You will notice that there will be no more new fossil fuel vehicles on forecourts nationwide.