With the government unveiling plans to introduce regulations to improve the reliability of electric vehicle charging points, electrical safety expert Bureau Veritas is encouraging duty holders to have a robust strategy in place to manage the installation, functionality, and regular maintenance of charging points.
In February, the UK Government announced it will bring in new regulations that will require charging point operators (CPO) to meet a minimum 99% availability standard as an average across their entire fleet of chargepoints. The proposals, currently in consultation, also include plans requiring CPOs to provide a 24/7 call helpline for consumers, more accurate data collection, self-reporting on damaged to down chargepoints, as well as the potential introduction of a gold-standard certification process.
The proposed regulations comes as statistics from Zap-Map show that in August 2019 around 8% of public chargepoints were out of service – most commonly due to malicious damage such as vandalism, software malfunction within the chargepoint or hardware malfunction due to wear and tear.
With this in mind, Bureau Veritas, which last year launched ChargeScan, an end-to-end solution to maintain the reliability of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (EVCS), is advising asset owners that a robust installation, inspection and maintenance programme is key to ensuring chargepoints are compliant, always available, and fully functional for end customers.
Michael Kenyon, Head of Electrical Technical Development MIET at Bureau Veritas, said: “Unsurprisingly, the pandemic has sped up the UK’s transition to electric vehicles, with recent research showing almost half (49%) of motorists expect to buy a fully electric vehicle in the next decade. The success of this hinges on a world-class charging infrastructure, hence the government has proposed welcoming new regulations aimed ensuring consumers have access to a consistently reliable charging network.
“However, it does mean chargepoint operators are now facing the twin challenges of adopting evolving innovative technological solutions for drivers, while providing 99% availability and reliability of their network. This can only be achieved if CPOs take steps now to follow best practice when it comes to installation, functionality and regular maintenance of their assets – starting with a robust strategy and third-party certification.”
According to Bureau Veritas’, which works with charge point operators in several different sectors, some of the key areas for consideration include cybersecurity risk, grid code compliance as well as repairs and components management.
Michael adds: “From our experience, with more and more EV chargepoints popping up, often second and third generation iterations, duty holders should be periodically inspecting their EV chargepoints at least annually as part of the business’s Health and Safety Risk Management obligations. This is critical to maintaining the long-term integrity of this vital charging infrastructure.”
Bureau Veritas ChargeScan covers the design, construction, commissioning, and operation of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (EVCS) – providing access to verified data that can be embedded into the client’s existing digital platform, or on a customised digital hub developed by Bureau Veritas.
For further information on Bureau Veritas’ ChargeScan service for EV charging points, call 0345 600 1828 or click here.