Switching the country from petrol/diesel to electric vehicles isn't going to be a quick task, but the government has announced plans to help increase EV adoption and make them more appealing. The first thing? Telling motorway services and petrol stations that they have to install EV chargers.
This is part of the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, first announced during the Queen's speech in June, was read out in Parliament yesterday, outlining new powers to help increase EV adoption across the UK.
In addition to actually installing the chargers, the government wants this new network of charging points to be "smart" - meaning it can interact with the national grid to help manage demand across the UK. Anyone operating the chargers will also have to display clear information on their location, cost, operating hours, and what charging options are available. Plus whether they're a) working, and b) currently in use. Nobody wants to drive into a petrol station and find there's already a Tesla plugged in.
The bill doesn't say that this is an absolute mandatory requirement, only saying that it may become compulsory. Since big companies and service stations are already installing EV chargers, it might just be that this particular clause is a warning to make sure the less enthusiastic companies get their act together. It also only specifies large petrol retailers and service station operators, so the independent petrol station near your gran's house isn't going to find itself with an insane installation bill.
On the subject of automated cars, the government outlined the whole insurance situation that some people have been worried about. The bill states that any cars being driven manually will have to be separately insured from times the car is driving itself, victims of accidents will have "quick and easy" access to compensation, and any automated car owners that make modifications to the car's software will be liable for any accidents that occur. The same is true for people failing to install essential updates.
The government also announced plans to invest £1.2 billion in electric and automated car sectors, and ensuring local councils have the money they need to install charging points on residential streets where electric cars are likely to be parked. [Gov.uk via Engadget]