UK aims to set accessibility standards for electric vehicle charging

By Conall Martin / Updated: 12 Jul 2021

The UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) announced on 30 June 2021 a partnership with Motability – a national disability charity – to assess and introduce accessibility standards for electric vehicle (EV) charge points.

In partnership with Motability, DfT has commissioned the British Standards Institution (BSI) to develop accessibility standards for EV charge points throughout the country. The standards will establish clear definitions of ‘fully accessible’, ‘partially accessible’ and ‘not accessible’ public EV charge points. This will provide the transport industry with guidance that will help EV drivers.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “With sales of EVs increasing and the government’s net zero ambitions accelerating, I want to make it as easy as possible for EV drivers to charge up their vehicles at public charge points right across the UK, regardless of their mobility.”

“We are taking action to provide accessibility guidance to both operators and drivers to make sure that the transition to zero-emission driving will benefit everyone in society as we build back better.”

Operators already give careful consideration to the design of public charge points. However, consistent standards are crucial for drivers to easily identify which charge points are suitable for their needs. Key standards to ensure accessibility could include:

  • Adequate spacing between bollards;
  • Charging units being of a height suitable for wheelchair users;
  • Size of parking bay;
  • Kerb height.

The DfT's Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, Motability and BSI will be collaborating with industry stakeholders, such as EV charge point operators and disability charities, to ensure that consumers can find the right charge point for their needs. To ensure that all stakeholders have the opportunity to contribute and inform the standards, Motability will be holding a series of workshops on accessibility and EV charging in August.

Barry Le Grys, Chief Executive Officer at Motability, said: “We look forward to working together to create world-leading accessibility standards and to support the UK’s commitment to achieving zero emissions. Motability looks forward to a future where electric vehicle charging is inclusive for all.”

Article first published by DfT on 30 June 2021. 

Photo Credit: nrqemi / Shutterstock.com - no permission to re-use image(s) without separate licence from Shutterstock

Country: 
United Kingdom
Topic: 
Transport for people with reduced mobility