What if chargers for electric cars had to be 99% reliable by law?

The fast charging infrastructure for electric cars presents certain disparities throughout the geography, both in number (there are great inequalities between Communities) and in reliability. Although the situation is improving day by day, not all public chargers always work or do not work as promised. Having a good fast charging network is essential to build trust among users of an electric car (and especially among potential users). If it doesn’t work by itself, would the proper functioning of public chargers be a regular solution by law?

The evidence cannot be denied: from time to time, you go to a public charger and it does not work as it should. It is increasingly rare to find disconnected charging points, although they still exist; yes it is more frequent to find a charger that is not as fast as it promised. Your supplier tells you that you can charge at 150 kW, which guarantees a fairly fast recharge, but once on site, it does not go beyond 40 or 50 kW… Even if you are alone at the station at the time.

Although it is rare, encountering a situation like this two or three times a year is enough to generate a certain distrust when making long trips. In addition to having well-designed incentives for the purchase of an electric car, increasing the widespread use of this type of vehicle also involves developing a reliable and trustworthy public charging infrastructure. In this way, the so-called “anxiety about autonomy” would disappear. But if the situation does not improve by itself, it may be time to require it by law.

The batteries they may not lose more than 20% of their capacity in the first five years of use. This level of degradation falls within the limits normally guaranteed by manufacturers, but it is intended to be regulated by regulations in the European Union, the United States and China. It is a way to provide a certain guarantee and peace of mind to consumers, and in the event of suffering greater degradation (which is detrimental to the buyer), to have legal protection.

In the United Kingdom they want to do something equivalent when it comes to fast chargers for electric cars. Under new laws coming into force later this year, the UK’s electric vehicle fast-charging network must have a 99% reliability rate. The country’s political leaders say that with this measure they hope to “eradicate anxiety about the autonomy” of electric vehicles and create a “first-class” recharging network. This means that almost all chargers should work and should work correctly. It is unknown what type of penalty would be imposed on the supplier in case of having an inoperative charger, or how it will proceed if it is shown to be a punctual failure (from which no one is free).

The regulations are part of ‘Infrastructure Strategy for Electric Vehicles’, which includes a £1.6bn investment to install 300,000 new chargers across the UK by 2030. That would mean having five times as many chargers as there are fuel pumps in operation today. In addition to establishing new legal requirements to improve the reliability of public charging points, the government is also working to guarantee the good accessibility of these chargers for people with reduced mobility.

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