Smart meters, electric vehicle charging points and Economy 7

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Just posted to my eMail 'box' from the IET.

Government fails to rule out EV tax as new regulations come into force
The government has described claims that new regulations on smart charging for electric vehicles (EVs) lay the groundwork for a new tax on EV charging as “ludicrous”.


However, the government failed to rule out introducing a new tax as a way of replacing almost £30bn of revenue it stands to lose in fossil fuel taxes as petrol and diesel cars are replaced by electric models.
Under The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021, that come into force today, all newly fitted EV charge points must have smart functionality.
This will allow for the potential of ‘electricity rationing’ by deciding when EVs can be charged, helping to avoid overloading the National Grid at peak times.
It will also enable EV charger usage to be billed at higher electricity prices than domestic electricity by operating with a dedicated smart meter.
Currently, petrol and diesel drivers pay fuel duty at 52.95 pence per litre, which brought in £28bn for the government last year. Petrol and diesel are also subject to 20 per cent VAT. By contrast, electric car users pay no fuel duty, and VAT on domestic electricity is only charged at 5 per cent.
Motor financing firm MotoNovo said the potential for higher cost EV home-charging tariffs is “sure to be another concern for consumers reeling under record utility price hikes”.
“In the short term, the government may consider that the timing for dedicated EV charging is uncomfortable, having cut fuel duty by five pence per litre recently in a bid to ease the impacts of the increasing cost of living,” said Mark Coles, head of marketing at MotoNovo.\


However, he added that the “stark reality is that the revenue generated from fossil-fuel vehicles ... has to be replaced somehow as EV popularity increases”.
In response, a government spokesperson said smart charging would “actually lower costs for most electric vehicle owners” as it would enable vehicle owners to access cheaper vehicle charging during periods when electricity prices are low – for example overnight.
“This is not a tax and the new regulations will actually save people money,” they added.
At the same time, the government said it was committed to striking a difficult balance between ensuring that “motoring tax revenues keep pace with the changes brought about by the switch to electric vehicles, whilst keeping the transition affordable for consumers”.
A day before the new regulations came into force, the government’s independent advisors, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), argued that some form of “road pricing” is needed under which drivers are charged for how much they drive if the government is to cover the “significant hole” in the public finances left by the loss of fuel duty and other taxes when petrol and diesel cars are replaced by electric models.
In its progress report to parliament, published yesterday, the CCC said a “sensible and fair” approach would see the costs covered by drivers, rather than general taxation. Potential approaches, it added, range from “a simple charge per mile driven, which could be levied based on annual odometer checks, to more sophisticated schemes that vary the charge based on the time of day or the location/type of road being used, based on vehicle-tracking technologies.”
The sale of new petrol and diesel cars is set to be banned in 2030 but the CCC said the government needed to explore the policy now so it is ready to be implemented this decade. Introducing a new tax system at an “early stage” will help avoid a situation where drivers “begin to assume that EV driving will always be tax free”, they said.
I don't disagree with any of that. I accept it as inevitable that when uptake reaches a certain level, they will start transferring the tax burden on to EVs. As for the remote control of charging via smart meters to even-out the load on the grid, I guess that's only fair. I do, however, intend to keep an old ICE car up my sleeve, just in case...
 
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Charge points are not specific to a particular car, you can have one installed from anyone.

Your consumer units are obsolete, and the main one is completely full anyway.
Yes, I understand that, but would need to agree the supplier with my employer (who might want to play safe and go for something manufacturer-endorsed). Are there any suppliers / installers you'd particularly recommend?
With regard to the consumer unit, the two right hand slots are taken up by a silly doorbell transformer for a doorbell we no longer have (we have a wireless battery operated one now). Presumably we could just pull that out and use one of those? We have no gas where we live, so we're already quite big electricity users. That "day" board currently feeds 2 electric showers, hob, oven, etc.
 
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To fit an EV charge point one needs to have done a special course and one would hope that means they are aware of dangers and avoid them.

There are systems with a current transformer that monitors total use, and turns down charge rate so the peak does not exceed to power the incoming fuse can take.

The main problem is, if the system locks out due to over or under voltage, it needs a manual reset. So you can come to use car and find it has not charged.

My home there is an area where I could charge a car away from any visitors, and away from main house, so could use a TT supply, although with a 60 amp fuse it would be sailing close to the wind. But as some one retried only use car once a week for 3 miles, which is also why I would not use an electric car, only an e-bike.

But since there is a 22 kW charge point at work, I would not NEED to charge at home. My son tells me at his work 5 years ago there were free charge points, so EV made sense, but now there are 3 cars for each charge point, so early bird gets the charge.

3 years ago it was rare to see charge point used at my work, today rare to see it not in use, the big problem is cars taking up the charge bay but only using 3.5 or 7 kW of the 22 kW on offer, and prospective EV vehicle buyers being told it can recharge in 3 hours, which it can with DC charge units, but not AC units.
 

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