• A mandatory random delay of up to 10 minutes and throttling could reduce the amount of charge received at home mainly during peak times
  • There are non-smart and non-compliant but legal EVSEs available

Another few more days to go before the OZEV grant ends for homeowners in single-unit properties. Those that managed to beat this deadline has to think about an upcoming regulation called The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations.

The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021 comes into effect in June 2022.

EV owners with a home Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) are used to doing two things:

  • Charge whenever they want, even during peak hours
  • Charge at midnight or at an exact time based on their EV tariff (Like Octopus Go)

This behaviour causes a few problems to our grid infrastructure.

  • Stability - If large numbers of EVs start or stop charging simultaneously, this can create sudden spikes or drops in electricity demand that could cause issues with balancing the electricity system.
  • Cyber and data security - As we transition to a smart, flexible energy system, increasing numbers of energy-smart appliances - including CPs - will increase the risk of cyber-attack. The internet-connected nature of these devices is likely to make them more vulnerable to threat actors, and hackers could use the individual devices or their control systems to destabilise the electricity system.
EVSE is not a charger but merely an equipment performing handshake and bi-directional communication with the grid and the car. An actual AC-to-DC charger is in the car.

Introducing Smart Charging

Smart charging can delay or modulate charging in response to the demand, and the delay introduced must be random up to 10 minutes. This flexible form of charging can reduce or defer costly investment in additional electricity generation capacity and network reinforcement.

Less Range on EV tariff - Your EV tariff (Like Octopus Go) offer cheaper rates from 00:00 to 4:00. You could schedule the charge to begin at 00:00, but the EVSE may not start until 00:10 due to a mandatory random delay of up to 10 minutes. The charge rate could also get throttled, so you may not get the full 7kW or 28 kWh (22 kW/66kWh on 3-phase).

In addition to grid protection, the government believes that smart charging could also offer personalised default settings, data security, and supplier interoperability. Increased regulation could inadvertently limit the number of manufacturers and models of EVSE to a handful of major players such as Pod Point or BP Pulse.

Way out

The mandatory requirements from the regulations offer a net benefit to the wider EV community and the infrastructure. However, there are a few ways to escape the rules for some time. The EVSE must be internet-connected for the smart features to work just like a smart television. One could also use EVSE without smart charging capability such as Tesla Wall Connector.

Tesla Wall Connector

Products such as Tesla Wall Connector do not comply with Smart Charge Points Regulations but are legal.

Buy now

Remember that non-compliant products might lack certain safety features, such as PEN fault and RCD protection.

The random delay mandate exemption applies for EV chargers signed up to provide Demand Side Response.