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In November 2021 at the Confederation of British Industry conference the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced measures to support the 2030 target for banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars. 

One of the most frequent expressed objections to the proposed ban has been the scarcity of charging points for electric vehicles. Without adequate infrastructure, critics say such a ban would be unworkable.

New laws for new homes 

To counter these objections the government will create a legal obligation on the builders of all new homes from 2022 to incorporate electric vehicle (EV) charging points. 

The law will also cover new-build workplaces, supermarkets and major renovations, in the hope of creating 145,000 new charging points every year. 

The rules will apply not only to professional construction companies but also to anyone engaged in a self-build project. It is quite possible that any major house renovations will also be caught by the provisions.

At present property owners, whether residents or landlords, can arrange to have EV chargers fitted to their existing properties. The cost is significant but not prohibitive, especially with the help of the OZEV wallbox grant or the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS). 

The price of installation can be as low as £500, and need not exceed £1,200

The long term savings on fuel with prices continuing to soar, and the relative cost of public charging, mean that the EV equipment will quickly repay this initial outlay.

However, while charging your car at home is the cheapest option – aside from free spaces in supermarket car parks or at your place of work – it may not be open to everyone. 

Apart from the charging point itself, ideally you also need off-road parking such as a garage or at the very least a driveway or hardstanding area on the property. You always need easy access to a power supply for the installation. Many houses, particularly in town and city centres, do not have any off-road space. 

This is an even bigger problem for those who live in flats, where there is also the issue of communal power, since it is most likely that an EV point would have to feed off a communal supply. 

Questions of access, rights, maintenance and responsibility for payments immediately arise.

Are electric cars cost effective?

It’s important to take account of research that challenges the almost universal assumption that electric charging is always the cheapest option. 

Which magazine has reported findings that suggest Rapid and Ultra Rapid EV chargers can work out much more expensive than most of us expect. 

In some cases it could be more costly than filling up the petrol-hybrid or even diesel version of the same car. The research found that a medium hatchback uses 20.38kWh per 100 kilometres. 

If the average motorist drives 9,000 miles in a year they would consume 2951.9kWh. 

At the lowest rapid charger price of 38p per kWh the cost of running the electric version would exceed that of the diesel or petrol-hybrid.

Adding charging points to property reports

For the professional inventory clerk the gradual introduction of EV charging points at residential properties adds yet another important item to the lengthening list that a property inspection needs to cover. 

Satellite dishes, cable TV, broadband connections have all become standard features, and now EV chargers are joining them. 

Of course, the new legislative provisions apply only to new buildings and substantially renovated ones, which excludes the majority of landlord-owned premises.

However there are indications that the direction of flow is towards the installation of charging points in every feasible location, so it won’t be long before they are a frequent feature in inventory property management.

At Inventory Base we constantly update the property inventory software we provide to help inventory clerks, landlords and lettings agents compile exhaustive and accurate reports, and we are conscious of the need to address the question of how to deal with EV charging points in any inventory.

Safety is a major concern

EVHS regulations set out minimum technical standards, and Part P of the Building Regulations specify the applicable electrical safety standards. 

The charging equipment must comply with the IET wiring regulations defined in British Standard (BS) 7671 and its resilience to weather conditions is prescribed in BS EN 61851.

Inventory clerks are not required by any law or regulation to have knowledge of electrical safety, however in order to do a thorough, professional job it is important to think practically about every potential hazard in a property. 

A frayed cable, cracked light switch casing or leaking seal needs to be picked up as readily as a broken lock, stained carpet or cracked window pane. There is no duty on the inventory clerk to diagnose problems or recommend solutions, but it is essential to flag up any areas of concern.

Appliances such as boilers and gas fires should carry some record of their service history and the date they were last tested. If they do not then this should be noted in the report including the latest certificate information i.e. date of assessment, serial number etc.

Capturing key information

While a clerk may not be qualified to vouch for the safety or otherwise of an EV charger, inventory providers should draw attention to anything which raises concerns. 

The report should certainly note the charging point, the type and location and include any observations about its condition such as damage or missing components such as the cover or cable.

Nothing beyond that can be expected of someone without qualifications, so an inventory clerk should simply observe the routine requirements of common sense. 

If the charger looks well maintained, include this observation. If it looks tatty, damaged or you suspect there are issues, say so in the report and report immediately to the client your concerns. 

You could save the landlord a lot of problems if issues are picked up early.

Key Takeaways 

  • Fom 2022, all new homes are to incorporate electric vehicle (EV) charging points
  • Cost of installation can be as low as £500 and as high as £1,200
  • The industry hopes to create 145,000 new charging points every year
  • The new law will also cover new-build workplaces, supermarkets and major renovations as well as residential new builds
  • Inventory and check out reports should record the location, type and condition of EV charging points

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