Consultation open for new standard seeking to ensure accessibility of Electric Vehicle public charging

29 March 2022

Consultation open for new standard seeking to ensure accessibility of Electric Vehicle public charging   

The draft of a new BSI standard for accessible charging of electric vehicles is now open for public comment until 4 May 2022. BSI, in its role as the UK National Standards Body, is seeking comments from those involved in chargepoint design, manufacture and installation as well as private land-owners, local authorities, transport planners, consumer groups and energy providers. Comments can be registered online here.

The UK Government’s commitment to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 is leading to an increase in the use of electric vehicles, which requires a new and significant network of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. With an estimated 14 million disabled people in the UK, and 2.7 million predicted disabled drivers in ten years’ time1, it is essential that chargepoints are inclusively designed for use by all consumers. The new charging network should be aligned with Government policy including Inclusive Mobility.

As the first standard of its kind internationally, it intends to set out the requirements for the provision of accessible public charging for all plug-in vehicles to all potential users and pedestrians, to create an inclusive charging environment for all including disabled and older people, and people with learning disabilities or neurodiverse conditions. The focus of this standard, named PAS 1899:2022: Electric vehicles – Accessible charging – Specification, is to agree minimum accessibility standards for all public chargepoints and settings in which more enhanced accessibility can be deployed.

The standard, that is sponsored by Motability the charity and the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, intends to cover:

  • the physical aspects of the environment surrounding fixed charging units (e.g. kerb height, ground type);
  • the location, placement and spacing of such units within the streetscape and public realm and relative to other infrastructure and/or objects (e.g. placement of charging units relative to individual parking bays, adequate space surrounding the charging unit and vehicle);
  • factors to be taken account of in the design and specification of accessible chargepoints and their more immediate surrounding areas (e.g. height of chargepoint, cables and cable management systems, bollard spacing, interface tilt, lighting, colours used, accessibility of language within communications, weight and ease of use of the equipment); and
  • information, signals, and indicators provided.

Nick Fleming, Head of Transport and Mobility Standards at BSI said: “BSI is excited to be involved in the development of this standard to encourage accessibility considerations in the manufacture, installation and maintenance of EV chargepoints. EV users have a wide range of needs and this PAS can help to improve user experience and ensure the public EV charging network is accessible for all. Improving the accessibility of EV charging networks will help to further drive the adoption of EVs, an important step in the decarbonization of the UK’s transport sector if we are to meet net zero targets by 2050.”

Barry Le Grys, Chief Executive of Motability the charity, said: “As we transition to net zero, emerging transport options must be made accessible for disabled people right from the very beginning. Our research shows that half of disabled people will be reliant on public EV charging by 2035, yet they face a host of problems using public charging – from confusing instructions on payment units to heavy charging cables and limited space to move around in charging bays. Motability is sponsoring these standards because we believe that they are the only way that manufacturers can develop new infrastructure at pace which is fully accessible for disabled people and fit for the future of travel.”

The standard is due to publish in summer 2022.

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Notes to the editor:

1 Motability & Ricardo (2020), Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure for people living with disabilities, https://www.motability.org.uk/media/nghmmyu0/electric_vehicle_charging_infrastructure_for_people_living_with_disabilities_ricardo_energy_and_environment.pdf