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The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill

October 24, 2017

By Paul Homewood


The government published details of its new Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill last week:




Motorway services and large petrol retailers will be required to install chargepoints for electric cars, under plans announced in the House of Commons today (18 October 2017) by Transport Minister John Hayes.


The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill will increase the access and availability of chargepoints for electric cars, while also giving the government powers to make it compulsory for chargepoints to be installed across the country and enabling drivers of automated cars to be insured on UK roads.

Automated vehicles have the potential to greatly reduce road traffic accidents – in 2016 85.9% of collisions causing injury involved human error, while official research estimates that the market will be worth £50 billion to the UK economy by 2035.

Transport Minister John Hayes said:


We want the UK to be the best place in the world to do business and a leading hub for modern transport technology, which is why we are introducing the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill in Parliament and investing more than £1.2 billion in the industry.

This bill will aid the construction of greater infrastructure to support the growing demand for automated and electric vehicles as we embrace this technology and move into the future.


Drivers of electric vehicles will be able to easily locate and charge at any chargepoint, using information from sat navs or mobile apps, regardless of the vehicle make or model – making running an electric vehicle even easier. All chargepoints will have to be ‘smart’, meaning they can interact with the grid in order to manage demand for electricity across the country.


Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill: new rules to ensure safe and effective insurance for self-driving cars.



Roads Minister Jesse Norman said:

Automated and electric vehicles will help improve air quality, cut congestion, boost safety and create thousands of skilled jobs in the UK. We have already supported the purchase of 115,000 ultra-low emission cars and there are already more than 11,500 publicly available chargepoints, but the demand continues to grow as more people purchase electric vehicles to cut fuel costs and boost the environment.


Jesse Norman will also announce further funding for local authorities at the Smarter Travel Conference in Milton Keynes on Thursday (19 October 2017) to fund install chargepoints in residential areas where cars are parked on the street.


I have a simple question here – who is going to pay for all these new charge points?

In theory, the cost should be passed onto the drivers of electric cars, when they pay to fill up at the “pump”.

But matters are not quite as simple as that.

The whole point of the compulsion on motorway services and petrol retailers is to get enough chargers installed to start persuading people to buy EVs. In other words, to get ahead of the curve.

The trouble with this is that it will probably take many years before these businesses start to recoup their costs. If they attempt to pass all of the cost onto the small number of EVs currently likely to use them in the near future, the cost would be so great as to turn away custom. There are after all alternatives, such as charging at home.

The most likely outcome is that their costs will simply be recovered from other customers, either through fuel prices at petrol retailers, or food and other prices at services.


On top of this is the funding for local authorities announced by Jesse Norman. This will obviously have to be met by taxpayers.

Given that EV drivers pay no fuel duty, which costs an average driver in the region of £1000 a year, it is now surely time that they now start paying their share.


There is one more intriguing detail in the bill – all chargepoints will have to be ‘smart’, meaning they can interact with the grid in order to manage demand for electricity across the country.

Does this mean that power can be turned off from the chargepoints at times of high demand? If so, drivers may get a shock when they came back to their cars an hour later, only to find that they have not been charged up.

I doubt if the next drivers in the queue will be too please either!

  1. Robert Fairless permalink
    October 24, 2017 6:46 pm

    Where did this proposed legislation come from? Did it originate in the EU? Wherever it came from it is guaranteed to be a loss making business with the poor plebs footing the Bill once again. Like the Climate Change Act it seems to be a folly beyond measure.

    • saxonboy permalink
      October 24, 2017 6:54 pm

      Good point Rob, the Climate Change Act, was i’m sure, an aberration created by the Green Tooth Fairy….good news for Dale boy Vince and his ilk though.

    • Bitter&twisted permalink
      October 24, 2017 7:36 pm

      It’s not “legislation” rather a greenie’s wet dream.
      Personally I will be investing my hard-earned cash in Hansom cab futures.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      October 25, 2017 8:31 pm

      FUnny you should mention that:

      Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive
      European Union Directive 2014/94/EU of 22 October 2014 on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure (the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive, or AFID) introduces for the first time requirements around the provision, accessibility and design standards of infrastructure, such as EV charge points.
      Compliance will require the publication of a National Policy Framework (NPF) detailing the measures the Government believes necessary to develop the market for alternatively fuelled vehicles in the UK and some new requirements to be brought into force across the UK.

      As regards the impact of Brexit on the implementation of the Directive, the Government said that leaving the EU “is not expected to change substantially the direction of this policy”

      Click to access CBP-8118.pdf

  2. saxonboy permalink
    October 24, 2017 6:48 pm

    ‘but the demand continues to grow as more people purchase electric vehicles to cut fuel costs and boost the environment.’

    Can someone explain how this Green Folly will actually ‘boost’ the environment ? I suppose even HM Govt wouldn’t want to use that ghastly phrase ‘Save the Planet’… or would it ?

    • Robert Fairless permalink
      October 24, 2017 8:42 pm

      I would guess that the increase demand is the result of government propaganda which many people still believe despite the falsity of the claims. It is old-fashioned and naive to believe that the many fools in government know what is best or indeed to recognise what is good or indeed bad. In other words they have incredible poor judgement of which we have more than ample evidence.
      The so called boost to the environment is sheer nonsense.

      • Gamecock permalink
        October 25, 2017 1:17 pm

        Exactly. Government decisions are always POLITICAL decisions.

  3. Chris permalink
    October 24, 2017 7:08 pm

    If all chargepoints are “smart” they will presumably all be liable to be hacked together, perhaps as part of the same attack that might disable domestic smart meters.

  4. David permalink
    October 24, 2017 7:27 pm

    For a start electric cars are too expensive.
    second their batteries have a limited life and so result in the car have an increasingly shorter range as they age.
    Third their maximum range before a re-charge is too short.
    Fourth, my frequent journey is Hertford to Pembroke – 262 miles.How far am I going to get before I have to spend an hour or so (assuming I find a free charge point) recharging. And then what happens if I run out again in the middle of the country, miles from a recharge point. The AA will be busy!!
    And another thing. Has anybody realised that when people have been tootaling around in their driverless cars, the unintended consequence will be that they will quickly loose their driving skills. Result – more and worse accidents.

  5. AJ Astley permalink
    October 24, 2017 7:52 pm

    How long before a garage’s charging point makes a spark which explodes a garage’s fuel leak? Or a car problem, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the garage’s fault…

    • sean2829 permalink
      October 24, 2017 10:29 pm

      Kind of like using propane or butane as a refrigerant and placing the appliance in a high rise building with flammable insulation.

  6. October 24, 2017 8:44 pm

    “All chargepoints will have to be ‘smart’, meaning they can interact with the grid in order to manage demand for electricity across the country.”

    LOL, will they have screens that say something like: Please wait … 5 hours for the wind to start blowing again? If not then it will have to be one of those evil fossil-fueled, CO2 spewing power stations that will have to be cranked up to recharge your oh so “green” car.

    • HotScot permalink
      October 24, 2017 11:41 pm

      “All chargepoints will have to be ‘smart’.

      That’ll be like domestic Smart meters, that can’t be used with competing companies supplies.

      That’s really smart. Not only are bill payers suffering the cost of installing smart meters, they carry the cost of them being ripped out and binned for their new suppliers model of smart meter.

      How many more monumental c*ck up’s con our governments really create in the name of saving the planet.

      • mikewaite permalink
        October 25, 2017 7:57 am

        “you ain’t seen nothing yet”

      • Derek Buxton permalink
        October 25, 2017 9:00 am

        I am beginning to think that nothing bad is unthinkable to this pretend conservative administration. They actually know nothing of science or engineering, perhaps bordering on insanity. where is all this “energy” to come from? We are already short of energy, a hard winter could create a hell on earth. And then there is the HS2, electrically driven no doubt, more energy needed for that. Where is that going to come from? It would seem that no one in Parliament was ever taught anything, so much stupidity all round.

  7. roger permalink
    October 24, 2017 9:51 pm

    My neighbour recently purchased a secondhand ev after much persuasion from her brainwashed green children. She then found she needed a fast charging point to be installed some 20ft from her door at a cost of over £3000 of which the Scottish parish council (or government as some call it) paid £1500 as a grant.
    Can this possibly be true and from what budget is the grant allocated?

    • Nigel S permalink
      October 25, 2017 2:42 pm

      The fracking sassenachs no doubt. (SNP demanding at today’s PMQs that fracking be banned throughout this sceptred isle not just Scotland).

  8. Bruce of Newcastle permalink
    October 24, 2017 10:24 pm

    I think the bill should be amended to require all MPs to own and drive electric cars, and replace all government cars with electrics. Surely parliamentarians should lead the way and be an example for the people to follow?

    It would be endlessly entertaining.

    • Joe Public permalink
      October 24, 2017 10:57 pm

      Imagine the range of the PM’s armoured Jag!

    • keith permalink
      October 25, 2017 9:36 am

      Oh Bruce, I so agree with you. All MP”s and Government officials should be made to immediately go all ev, no petrol/diesel cars as second cars, so they set an example! Then let’s see how quickly this rubbish idea gets dropped.
      Interestingly in the German elections I believe the Environment Minister started campaigning with a Tesla, but quickly gave it up. The range was too restricting.

      • Philip Foster (Revd) permalink
        October 26, 2017 4:05 pm

        Keith – Brilliant idea.
        A couple of years back, the green mayor of Brighton hired himself (I think it was a he but these days you never can tell with Greens) a Leaf (at rate payers’ expense of course) and decided to use it to travel 30 miles to meeting. He came back by taxi.

  9. jim permalink
    October 25, 2017 1:59 am

    Paul, are you going to comment on the BBC’s ‘apology’ about Lawson interview?
    We are living in ‘1984’.

    • October 25, 2017 8:30 am

      Its time to reciprocate, with complaints every time the BBC asks a celeb or a politician whether or not the latest extreme weather is evidence of CC, they did it with monotonous regularity during the recent hurricanes.

    • October 25, 2017 9:14 am


  10. markl permalink
    October 25, 2017 2:41 am

    Believing that you can force energy use through legislation is the downfall of the green industry. Eventually reality catches up and your premise fails. They will not learn on their own and the ideology cannot be supported by fact.

  11. John F. Hultquist permalink
    October 25, 2017 2:54 am

    Seems like there are many costs and issues with this plan, and no real economic benefits.
    The concept of breaking windows so someone will pay to fix them comes to mind.

  12. October 25, 2017 5:48 am

    Where is the evidence that EVs will “boost safety”? They are a fire hazard during accidents, not to mention all that dangerous electric stuff.

    • Joe Public permalink
      October 25, 2017 9:32 am

      The claim relates to ‘Automated vehicles’ rather than EVs.

    • keith permalink
      October 25, 2017 9:43 am

      And not just a fire hazard in accidents. Look at how many Tesla fires there have been while the car is just being driven. If airlines don’t like carrying lithium batteries, putting them in thousands of cars will increase the number of car fires.
      A recent article on a Tesla car fire in Austria highlighted it can reignite up to 24 hours after the original fire, and Tesla admit that. Not much safety in that.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        October 25, 2017 12:40 pm

        What happened to that car Hamster was driving on Top….er sorry Grand Tour when he crashed and Clarkson assumed he was burnt to death when he got there?

  13. Athelstan permalink
    October 25, 2017 6:19 am

    some more al beeb s&*7 here………………..:

    “The BBC has apologised after it allowed global warming sceptic Lord Lawson to claim that temperatures around the world had not risen over the last 10 years.” […]

    Good grief, Lord Lawson should have said; ‘we see only evidence of mild background warming since the LIA and any Temp data sets [HadCrut et al] since the 1980’s have been so crudely tampered with as to be absolutely useless, nevertheless regarding man made CO2 – adding a puny and negligible amount to what is after all a minor trace gas in the earth’s atmosphere, we are still arguing on pinheads about a supposition which can never be proven, because it doesn’t exist, as the Geological record clearly exhibits, atmospheric CO2 concentrations rise as a factor of WARMING and therefore can never be causal’.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      October 25, 2017 8:01 am

      The BBC story is far worse than that. As far as I can tell, the BBC’s own complaints department decided the BBC was wrong, based on data provided by the Met Office! So the people being attacked by Lawson were allowed to use their own data to prove they were right! How ludicrous is that?

      Worse, the BBC also claim that the Met Office proved that extreme events are not only increasing but caused by manmade CO2. And that the IPCC said so.

      Finally the BBC story then says that 97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is caused by humans.

  14. David permalink
    October 25, 2017 10:07 am

    Why all the fuss about no rebuttal for Lawson when the BBC almost daily present GW arguments with no rebuttal.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      October 25, 2017 12:41 pm

      Apologising for their error in being impartial for once. A rare mistake not to be repeated.

  15. October 25, 2017 11:27 am

    Rush Limbaugh discussed this subject on October 9 and here is a quote from his transcript:
    “A Canadian engineer has walked through the math of the subject, and concludes that to match the energy equivalent of a typical gasoline filling station today, an electric filling station would have to have the 30 megawatts of capacity. Now, 30 megawatts of capacity is equivalent to the electricity use of 20,000 homes. So you have your average gas station in California which is gonna go (raspberry) because gasoline powered cars aren’t going to be legal. You have to replace them with fill-up stations for electric cars, which are charging stations. You’re gonna have to have such powerful charging stations, 30 megawatts per gas station.

    In other words, each charging station will have to have enough electricity to fully provide power for 20,000 homes. Now, it goes on. “Factoring in the aforementioned credit card transaction and washing of windshield that might extend gasoline refueling to five minutes, it would still require 600 of those 50kW chargers for a roadside station to service the 2,000 cars those gas pumps could service in a busy 12-hour period.”

    Rush cites an article by Steven Hayward October 8 on blog
    I found I could not post this with the link included–sorry you will have to get it for yourself.

    • Old Englander permalink
      October 25, 2017 12:42 pm

      So it looks like the world’ll be watching California closely when gasoline vehicles are banned.

      Jo Nova has called South Australia the world’s “crash-test dummy” for over-dependence on wind electricity. The good news (for the rest of us) is that the state of California seems to have volunteered to be the world’s “crash-test dummy” for EV’s.

  16. Tom O permalink
    October 25, 2017 1:19 pm

    Strikes me that this proposal is more to piggyback automated cars onto the green weenie EVs as a slight of hand. It isn’t the EVs they want, they want the automated cars and know people won’t accept that at this time. Automated cars won’t be “autonomous” and completely free to drive themselves. They will be tied into central computing and thus you will lose all choice of where you go, If they are tied into central computing, they will be subject to hacking as well, so you can sit in your automated car and spend the entire trip praying to your god that you will somehow make it and not have someone hijack you, or be rerouted by the central computer onto a dead end street by accident, or directly to the nearest police station because you somehow might have been the crook that did something somewhere. This is more about government control of your life than being offered “choice.” Good luck with this one.

  17. Gamecock permalink
    October 25, 2017 1:24 pm

    ‘The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill will increase the access and availability of chargepoints for electric cars’

    What if someone else hooked up to the chargepoint before you got there?

    Wait at gas station if someone ahead of you? 5 minutes.

    Wait at chargepoint if someone ahead of you? 45 minutes.


  18. Kevin B permalink
    October 25, 2017 1:46 pm

    You’re probably too young to remember Paul, but back in the sixties when the motorways were being built, the government of the day had to decree that all motorway service stations had to sell petrol and diesel on site as well as bunches of flowers and overpriced coffee.

    As for non motorways, you don’t think all those Little Chefs sprung up without being ordained by parliament, do you?

    And my father once told me that in the twenties and thirties when car ownership was increasing in leaps and bounds that the minister had to order filling stations to be built in villages and towns across the nation to provide fuel for these new fangled machines.

    You probably believe some nonsense about letting the market provide but as any bureaucrat worth his bung will tell you, you can’t beat government regulation for giving the customer what he doesn’t want at a price he can’t afford.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      October 25, 2017 8:00 pm

      Government went out of its way to make it difficult to establish a MWSA site. Very few were permitted, and the auctions for the leases ran well into the millions on the assumption of a high volume captive market with no competition within at least 25 miles without going off the motorway. Government created local monopolies and garnered the profit from doing so, much like the sale of Royal Warrants and Licences in previous centuries. We’re still left with no MWSA between South Mimms at the A1 and Cobham beyond the A3 on the M25 (and you used to have to hold out until Clacket Lane). Cobham is supposedly the largest volume throughput site in the whole of Europe (mainly diesel trucks rapid filling on Agency/bunkering terms I suspect – MWSA prices are to be avoided if you’re not on expenses!), and it also has some very large storage – it’s a strategic storage site, so it should always have fuel when everywhere else runs out.

  19. It doesn't add up... permalink
    October 25, 2017 2:12 pm

    I plan to spend more time reading through the proposals and the MP’s debate: there is an opportunity to comment which perhaps we should avail ourselves of once we have assembled the arguments about the shortcomings in the proposals and the general lack of understanding of the technical consequences (there are also links to the bill text and Parliamentary briefings and debates):

    The first impression I have is that someone said “We must do something” and someone else said “This is something”: it shows very little sign of being thought through, even on the back of supposed industry consultations.

  20. Gamecock permalink
    October 25, 2017 2:13 pm

    ‘We have already supported the purchase of 115,000 ultra-low emission cars and there are already more than 11,500 publicly available chargepoints, but the demand continues to grow as more people purchase electric vehicles to cut fuel costs and boost the environment.’

    Silly me. I thought rich people bought them to show that they care more than you do.

    Charging stations are needed for electric cars, not ‘ultra-low emission cars.’ If he means electric, he better damn well say electric.

    Electric cars are a pop culture fad. Politicians signal they are cool by spending other people’s money.

    Electric cars have a fatal flaw. Compelling the installation of chargepoints (sic) WILL NOT CURE IT.

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      October 25, 2017 4:56 pm

      Chargers at off-street parking places, such as homes, retail, work, and public, will become more common. It will be common for a city to require new construction (when feasible) to have chargers. Cities can purchase only EVs and install chargers where the vehicles are parked and used. Further, owners of EVs will be made to help pay for all the infrastructure via a mileage tax based on weight and size (number of axels ?). Toll roads and bridges are now funded this way. Some places allow EVs free passage, but this will be discontinued when the foregone income becomes a larger share.
      All this will be good because the demand for motor fuel will decrease and the price will not rise, or may go down. Those folks that live in a good climate for EVs and in a city can likely exist with an EV or even no personnel auto. Others in cold winter areas and rural areas will likely stay with ICEs, or have 2 or more vehicles.
      Consider the changes brought about by cellular phone systems and smart-phones.
      European launches of 3G (use of packet switching) smart phones was in 2002 or 2003.
      The first generation iPhone was released on June 29, 2007, just 7 1/2 years ago.
      Expect EV adoption to come along more slow than smart phones and have fewer societal impacts.
      50 years from now is a long time but it is likely that many major cities and other communities will look then much like they do now.
      I won’t be here.

      • Gamecock permalink
        October 27, 2017 12:58 pm

        The future isn’t what it used to be.

  21. It doesn't add up... permalink
    October 25, 2017 10:09 pm

    Mr John Hayes
    Partly as a result of the overtures from my hon. Friend the Member for North West Hampshire (Kit Malthouse) and partly to alleviate any fears that the hon. Gentleman may have, I can announce that from next summer, when we begin the refurbishment of the underground car park at the House of Commons, we will provide 80 new electric charge points.

    The amount they spend on greenstanding themselves (several MPs proudly proclaimed EV ownership) is absurd. At £20,000 a station, that’s £1.6 million, and nearly 1 for every 8 MPs. Not to mention a 2MW power supply to feed it. The whole tube system uses less than 150MW.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      October 26, 2017 3:39 pm

      Wonder if the free energy provided to these honourable buffoons will be another benefit in kind? Maybe they’re not the stupid ones? The hot-air that they generate daily should be used to provide the power, but they will probably install a diesel generator for security….

  22. Philip Foster (Revd) permalink
    October 26, 2017 4:19 pm

    There are around 10,000 filling stations in the UK, say 8 pumps per station.
    Time to fill an average car – 5minutes
    Time to ‘fill’ an average EV – 5 hours
    Number of EV power points required therefore is 4,800,000.
    Good luck with that!

  23. October 26, 2017 6:29 pm

    PS to the above.
    Each such power point costs around £20-30,000 to install. The Council here intalled two in a local car park, costing us £70,000. I’ve never seen them in use.
    The cost of nationwide installation, even discounting for quantity is of the order of £20 billion.

  24. FrankSW permalink
    October 29, 2017 11:08 am

    The government seems to assume that we will simply be able to produce enough batteries of sufficient size to charge.

    See (and the link within the blog) on Lithium supply.

    As with all raw materials if the demand is there then more difficult/less efficient/costly sources become available. Batteries are going to get more expensive and those side effects of producing 4-5 years worth of diesel driving CO2 emissions required tin the production of a Renault city car battery are going to rise as well.

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