Electric car owners ‘left confused’ after major charging ‘restrictions’ introduced

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Major changes were introduced in June which mandated that all new electric car chargepoints must have a data connection. With the connection, it would have the ability to measure, record and transmit usage.

They must also be able to delay charging or slow it down during periods of high grid demand.

New chargepoints will be pre-configured to avoid charging during peak hours between 8am and 11am and 4pm and 10pm on weekdays.

It is hoped that the regulations will ease the strain on the National Grid and ensure drivers are getting the best prices when charging.

The legislation followed an 18-month smart charging trial by Electric Nation, which involved 700 EV drivers.

The trial found the majority charged their cars during evening peak times between 5pm and 7pm.

The introduction of smart charging, combined with time of use tariffs, would therefore provide the lowest-cost charge for EV owners and move demand away from peak hours.

But the growing popularity of electric vehicles is threatening to place significant pressure on the grid, with the estimation that every EV charged at home is the equivalent of adding a new house to the electricity network.

This is something which Alok Dubey, UK Country Manager at Monta, says the country cannot sustain.

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Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said the move towards standardised charging was great, but feared that the confusion around the law would mean drivers may not access the benefits.

Mr Dubey added: “The expected proliferation of domestic charge points only adds further weight to the sense that more needs to be done to make EV owners and potential EV owners aware of the benefits of smart chargers. 

“Otherwise they may be unpleasantly surprised by the restrictions on charge times imposed by the default pre-sets.

“The task could become even more confusing because so many public charging alternatives to home charging, such as those in supermarket car parks, workplaces and petrol station forecourts are, by their nature, not subject to default charging hours.

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“At any other time we would be promoting and celebrating this legislation. 

“The move towards standardised smart charging is great for UK EV drivers, as it means their charges have even less impact on the environment and their wallets. 

“But right now, without any real clarification, many are going to be left confused as to why they’re being put off from charging their own vehicle as standard at 5pm.”

A large proportion of EV owners appear to be confused over how the new smart charging legislation will affect them. 

According to a new YouGov survey commissioned by Monta, 44 percent of EV drivers were unsure what was meant by smart charging.

A further 35 percent were unaware that the changes were better for the National Grid.

More than four in 10 EV drivers had no idea that smart charging was a cheaper way to “refuel” their vehicle, and 11 percent thought it was actually more expensive.

EV sales are skyrocketing in the UK, with over 190,000 EVs registered in the UK last year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

It is expected to be even more this year, with more than 280,000 EVs forecast to be sold.

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