New bill edges Britain closer to the EV tipping point and introduces framework for autonomous car insurance
The Government has introduced a bill to make electric vehicle (EV) charging points mandatory at all large petrol stations and motorway services.
Introduced by transport minister John Hayes, the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill will lead to multiple charge points being installed at each of the UK’s motorway service stations, as well as at many of the 8500 other filling stations up and down the country.
Currently, there are more than 11,500 public EV charging points in the UK. This move will nearly double the country’s charging infrastructure, which has been a major barrier to the uptake of EVs.
The bill also addresses the major concern surrounding insurance for autonomous cars. It states that the insurer is liable for any damage caused if the car is insured and driving itself. If not insured, and the accident is caused by the car when driving itself, the owner is liable for the damage. Owners will also be liable for accidents if they have modified the software of their car or failed to install important updates.
The bill outlines a £1.2 billion investment in the EV and autonomous vehicle industry, including charge points for cars parked on the street, suggesting that the streetlamp-based chargers pitched in recent years are likely to get the go-ahead.
Hayes said: “This bill will aid the construction of greater infrastructure to support the growing demand for automated and electric vehicles as we embrace this technology and move into the future.”
James Dalton, director of general insurance policy at the Association of British Insurers, said: “Insurers wholeheartedly support the development of automated vehicles, because they have the potential to significantly reduce the large number of road accidents caused by driver error. We support the approach the Government has taken in the bill, because this will give the industry time to prepare for the commercial rollout of fully automated driving technology.”