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Petrol stations will be required to install ‘smart’ electric vehicle charging points under new draft law

Petrol stations across the UK could be forced to install electric vehicle charging stations under new draft regulations from the government.

The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which undergoes its second reading today, is aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of cars in the UK as well as ushering in a new era of driverless vehicles.

Last year, research conducted by The Times showed that UK residents face a “postcode lottery” when it comes to electric vehicle charging stations, which is hampering adoption.

The research found that there were more chargers available in the Orkney Islands than in Blackpool, Grimsby and Hull combined.

With more stations installed at motorway service stations and petrol stations across the country, car buyers could travel longer distances, with energy top-ups along the way, relieving anxiety about running their batteries flat.

In addition to greater adoption, the Bill will seek to ensure that new charging stations are ‘smart’ so that they have the ability to interact with the grid to manage electricity demand during peak and off-peak times.

This functionality should help to allay fears echoed by the National Grid that the increasing number of electric vehicles could place too much strain on Britain’s power networks which currently have very limited spare capacity. 

The smart stations will give drivers access to live data showing the location and availability of charging points at any time.

The new legislation will also require the drivers of automated vehicles to insure themselves in order to compensate bystanders involved in collisions.

“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," commented John Hayes, a minister in the Department for Transport.

In July the government announced it would ban the sale of cars fuelled by diesel and petrol from 2040 onwards under new rules designed to tackle air pollution.  

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