In December 2021 the government published a new Approved Document S in the Building Regulations requiring EV charging infrastructure to be installed in most new housing in England. In order to achieve government’s target of 26.8 million pure battery EVs by 2035, it is expected that 145,000 EV chargers per year will be installed in new housing developments.

The STAPLE project is holding a commission to investigate the governance of EV charging in new housing developments in England. The commission process is a series of deliberative workshops bringing together different stakeholders to explore:

  1. the complex interactions, challenges and opportunities presented by the new regulation
  2. the importance of productive coordination across these sectors for delivering positive outcomes and workable allocations of risks and rewards for different stakeholders (from spatial planning, electricity network supply and operation, EV charge point provision, and housing development).

This inter-disciplinary project brings together expertise in transport studies, electricity network management, house-building and the spatial Planning system. The commission will consider the governance of all these different systems, taking account of the rules, norms and technologies involved. Many inter-linked issues are involved, for example:

  • The scope for local authorities to continue to secure affordable housing and provision for social and environmental community benefits. These are generally negotiated with developers on a case by case basis (through for example Section 106 Agreements) and hence raising potential challenges related to the additional requirements from developers to install charge points.
  • The challenges and opportunities for the planning, investment and finance of electricity network capacity, including network operator provision of new connections with headroom for EV charging as well as upstream grid reinforcement.
  • The interaction between the growth in EV charging and that of other sources of increased electricity demand (such as the uptake of heat pumps) and the necessity for integrated planning and local energy management strategies.
  • Implications for the optimal location of new housing developments given the additional costs posed by new grid connection and capacity issues.
  • The scope to use these transitions to introduce new business models or planning policies and guidance to influence household EV ownership and models of domestic energy utility supply.