The Government and the charity sector will work together to set accessibility standards for electric vehicle chargepoints, transport minister Rachel Maclean has announced.
In partnership with national disability charity Motability, the Department for Transport (DfT) has commissioned UK standards body BSI to develop national accessibility standards for EV chargepoints.
These standards will provide industry with guidance and drivers with a new clear definition of ‘fully accessible’, ‘partially accessible’ and ‘not accessible’ public EV chargepoints.
DfT officials said that consistent standards were crucial for drivers to easily identify which chargepoints are suitable for their needs.
Design issues range from adequate space between bollards, charging units being of a height suitable for wheelchair users, size of the parking bay and the kerb height.
Transport minister Rachel Maclean said: 'With sales of EVs increasing and the Government’s net zero ambitions accelerating, I want to make it as easy as possible for EV drivers to charge up their vehicles at public chargepoints right across the UK, regardless of their mobility.
'We are taking action to provide accessibility guidance to both operators and drivers to make sure that the transition to zero-emission driving will benefit everyone in society as we build back better.'
Minister for disabled people Justin Tomlinson said: 'It is imperative that disabled people have the same opportunities to access EVs as everyone else. The new accessibility standards for chargepoints will help make this a reality.'
The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), Motability and BSI will be working with industry and community stakeholders on the project.
Matthew Campbell-Hill, a former Team GB wheelchair athlete and member of the Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) England, said: 'As an EV owner and motor vehicle enthusiast who knows how transformative inclusive infrastructure can be, I’m excited to learn of this cross-sector partnership between charity and government.
'I’ve experienced first-hand just how challenging it can be to use a chargepoint that hasn’t been built with disabled people in mind, and this work will ensure electric vehicle charging is accessible for all.'
To ensure all interested stakeholders have the opportunity to come together and inform the standards, Motability will be holding a series of workshops on accessibility and electric vehicle charging in August.
If you are a charity working with disabled people or people with long-term health conditions and would like to know more about participating, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.