UK new builds must have EV charging from 2022
UK new build properties will be required to include electric vehicle charging points from next year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today at the CBI Annual Conference.
Reacting to the news, Stuart Law, CEO of Assetz Group, said the built environment contributes around 40% of the UK’s total carbon footprint, so the housebuilding and property sectors have to act urgently if the country is to meet renewed national ambitions for halting climate change post-COP26.
Studies estimate that lifetime emissions from electric cars are around 30% lower than petrol cars in the UK, rising to 70% in countries where the energy mix is predominantly skewed to renewables, and that, if every second car in the world was electric, this would reduce global carbon emissions by 1.5 gigatonnes.
"We need to make it as easy as possible for consumers to make the switch to electric vehicles and including charging points as standard in new builds is an easy win," he said. "Many SMEs across the country are leading the charge in this regard, especially as they are often early adopters of modern methods of construction and factory-built housing which typically include EV points as standard, unlike traditional building methods."
He added that currently the roll of out EV facilities is skewed to London and the south east.
"SMEs are going to be essential to levelling this up across the UK, especially in more remote, rural areas which have become newly popular through the course of the pandemic as more and more people find they are less tied to traditional metropolitan employment centres," he added.
"In this context the location-specific knowledge and expertise of local SME housebuilders will be essential to increasing levels of eco-friendly housing right across the UK, with EV points being just one tool in the effort to decarbonise."
While welcoming the announcement, he said the UK must look cumulatively at all the obligations we place on housebuilders to tackle carbon reduction and ensure that we provide the support the industry needs to ramp up its building efforts, while also improving environmental standards.
"This means simplifying the planning process, reducing regulation and crucially ensuring finance is available to fund these upgrades, especially with rising inflation exacerbating the impact of materials and labour shortages, all of which increases the cost of building new homes. In the absence of appetite from traditional lenders in a challenging economic climate, the combination of government support and the expertise of specialist lenders will be essential to decarbonisation going forward”.
Tony Danker, CBI Director-General, said the Prime Minister's announcement on EV charging is "exactly the kind of detail we need" to drive the necessary investment for a high-growth economy.
"That mix of high of ambition and focused detail can provide a blueprint for how government and business can work together to turn political aspiration into boardroom action," he said.
“The UK has an opportunity to lead the world in the race to net zero. By making decarbonisation one of our economy’s big bets for growth, we can create the high value sectors, firms, skills and investment needed to level-up the economy.
He added business leaders will be heartened to hear about the role of the private sector working in partnership with the government to achieve our shared ambitions for a high wage, high skill, high investment economy.
“With many business leaders in the North still feeling bruised by last week’s decision on HS2, that spirit of partnership must kick into gear straight away so that Government, local leaders and businesses are able to find a better way forward to address those places that missed out.”
The CBI Centre for Thriving Regions aims to act as a vehicle for the private sector to engage in ‘genuine economic placemaking’. The initiative will launch two demonstrator pilots to build on the economic cluster model, as well as:
- Write a Levelling-Up Playbook to serve as the ‘go to bible’ for how to get high quality industries, firms and jobs in all regions of the UK.
- Install a new Director and be staffed from all nations and regions of the UK. It will have a Steerco of leading local, national and multinational businesses and universities or colleges.
It will draw on the input and ideas of the CBI’s 800 strong regional council network.
The CBI believes that bringing these elements together under economic clusters – an idea adopted successfully around the world – where businesses co-locate to an area for mutual benefit will make all important contributions to levelling up.
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