Part S of the Building Regulations, covering the infrastructure for the charging of electric vehicles (EVs), is a new piece of legislation which takes effect on 15th June 2022. It does not apply to work subject to a building notice, full plans application or initial notice submitted before that date, provided the work is started on site before 15th June 2023 – although we have been seeing plenty of schemes already incorporating charging points, either due to planning conditions or demand from purchasers.
Published in December 2021, Part S has been brought in to help support the government’s net zero strategy, which details the steps being taken to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change. This includes a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, with all cars being fully zero emissions capable by 2035.
Part S: increasing the UK’s EV charging infrastructure
So far, one of the big barriers to owning an EV has been a lack of charging infrastructure, and Part S has been created to ensure that new developments incorporate the necessary charging points to support future levels of electric car ownership. Residential buildings undergoing major renovation work, and buildings undergoing a material change of use, will also have to adhere to Part S and provide EV charge points. In addition, buildings other than residential or mixed-use buildings, either new build or undergoing major renovations, will need to comply with Part S if they have more than 10 parking spaces.
Broadly speaking, Part S sets out the requirements for the number of charge points required for each type of development, and how to deal with the different types of parking situations that might exist. Car parks outside of the site boundary and on-street parking do not need to be considered.
Key technical points to consider in light of Part S include:
- Part S sets a minimum nominal rated output of 7 kW for each charge point.
- If the average connection cost of an electric vehicle charge point exceeds £3,600 per electric vehicle charge point, it may only be cable routes that are installed under Part S. This threshold could be quickly reached in areas with low availability of additional electricity supplies.
- Where charging points are fed from individual dwellings, there is unlikely to be any impact on electrical loadings within the development as the charger output is deemed to be reduced to reflect available power supplies at peak periods.
- Where charge points for communal parking areas are fed from a new supply or existing Landlord supply, then there are fewer opportunities to apply diversity, and electrical loads can increase very quickly. It might very well be that the electrical supply for the communal car park is significantly higher than the electrical supply for the whole building – larger developments with communal parking, and where future phases are to be built out under 2021 Building Regulations, may struggle to achieve this with the already allocated utilities capacity. The use of array systems, whereby the available electrical supply is shared between active charge points, will be a key solution moving forward.