Canada, other nations, lag after UK moves to make EV chargers a requirement in new residential builds
The United Kingdom’s Department of Transport is proposing to make EV chargers in new residential buildings mandatory. In Canada, so far only British Columbia seems committed to the idea.
The UK’s new protocol, which applies only in England and is slated to take effect in 2020, requires new residential buildings with one parking space to have at least a seven kilowatt charger and a universal socket. Details were recently laid out in a government consultation that closes on October 7.
Residential buildings undergoing major renovations will need to install cabling routes in each parking space, while non-residential buildings, with more than 10 parking spaces, being renovated have to install cabling routes in every fifth space. Non-residential buildings not undergoing renovations with more than 20 spaces are required to install at least one charger by 2025.
Keen to progress
The UK’s move is said to be a first for a national government.
“EVs seem to be one area that the government is keen to progress, probably with an eye on the future and being seen to be a ’world leader’ in EVs,“ wrote Paul Dight, a partner at law firm Addleshaw Goddard, in a brief on new electrification legislation in the UK.
In Canada, by comparison, only cities, towns and municipalities in British Columbia appear to be instituting rules regarding residential chargers.
For example, in January 2019, Vancouver passed a bylaw stating all parking spots in new multi-unit residential buildings must be wired to support at least a Level 2 charger. All new single-family homes are required to install them as well. In another example, starting in February 2019 all resident parking spaces in residential buildings in Surrey have to have a Level 2 charger installed. Additionally, half of the visitor spaces in residential buildings and 20 per cent of spaces in commercial buildings need this type of charger.
Impact will vary
As for the UK, Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport at Bloomberg New Energy Finance hopes they will influence others.
“The impact of these policies will vary dramatically depending on how fast the building stock is changing; only a small percentage of total European or North American buildings are renovated versus a much higher share in markets like China or Southeast Asia,” he told Greentech Media.
“Still, this is an important part of the suite of policies emerging to help enable higher levels of EV adoption.”