The UK government has partnered with disability charity Motability to develop accessibility standards for EV charge points across the country.
The collaboration will see the Department for Transport (DfT) commission the British Standards Institution (BSI) to develop industry guidance on how to make individual charge points more accessible by summer 2022.
These standards will include a new clear definition of ‘fully accessible’, ‘partially accessible’ and ‘not accessible’ public EV charge points.
According to the partnership, the design of public charge points is already carefully considered by operators. However, consistent standards are crucial for drivers to easily identify which charge points are suitable for their needs.
This could 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 charge points 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.”
The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, Motability and BSI will be working with industry stakeholders including EV charge point operators and disability charities to ensure that the consumer can find the right charge points for their needs.
Barry Le Grys, chief executive officer at Motability, added: “There is a risk that disabled people are left behind as the UK’s transition to EVs approaches and Motability wants to ensure that this does not happen.
“We welcome the interest from government in our research on EV charging and accessibility and we are excited about our partnership with the Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles to further this work.
“We look forward to working together to create world-leading accessibility standards and to support the UK’s commitment to achieving zero emissions.”
Motability is also working with Designability, a charity that creates products to enable disabled people to live with greater independence, to engage with disabled drivers and identify their requirements for accessible charging.