Powering ahead- the growth of the EV Charging Sector

by Lyndsay Kirkby

5 June 2023

The electric vehicle (EV) market has seen a rapid growth in recent years due to the ever-increasing concern of climate change and the UK’s net zero goals. This growth is expected to continue, especially since the Government announced in October 2022 that they would be going ahead with the planned ban of the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030.

In January, more than 4 in every 10 cars in the UK were electric or hybrid vehicles, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. In 2022, pure EVs accounted for more than one in six car registrations. It is clear there is increasing demand for EV infrastructure, and particularly EV charging points.

Energy giants such as Shell and BP are leading the way in managing the rise in demand for EV charging points. BP announced its largest ever EV charging expansion by investing £1 billion in the UK over the next 10 years, aiming to triple its number of charging points by 2030 in sites close to motorways, in urban centres and residential suburbs, and in major retail and logistics locations.

Department for Transport figures published in January 2023 revealed that fewer than 9,000 public EV charging devices were installed in the UK last year, despite the significant number of EV and hybrid vehicles being manufactured. It is clear that that demand in the sector is still outstripping supply.

Given the above, it’s unsurprising that many Commercial Tenants now require EV charging points on site to attract and retain the best employees and customers. Before work commences to install charging points, Tenants will need to ensure they can do so under the terms of their lease. The Landlord’s written consent will likely be needed, recorded via a licence for alterations. Similarly, Commercial Landlords may wish to install EV charging points on site to offer desirable facilities to their existing Tenants and to appeal to new occupiers looking for quality commercial space.

Occasionally, there are further points that need to be considered:

  • Existing rights and restrictions – ensuring the installation works and retention of equipment wont conflict or interfere with any existing rights or restrictions.
  • Existing leases on site – are sufficient rights in place for the works be undertaken without the need to involve existing Tenants?
  • New rights for the equipment and cables – are further rights needed to cover the location of cables to grid connection?
  • Planning permission – do the works fall under permitted development rights or do any conditions or limitations give rise to the need for planning permission?
  • Ownership and operation of the equipment – is a further lease required to govern a third party’s ownership of the equipment?
  • Costs – who will be responsible for future costs of repair and maintenance?
This article was prepared by Rebecca Turner.
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