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Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure and Car Clubs

Our electric vehicle charging point and car club team acts for both housing developers and local authorities nationwide to assist in the roll-out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and car clubs.   

Our expert team covers all aspects of arrangements relating to electric vehicle infrastructure and car clubs, including contracts for the supply, installation, maintenance and operation of electric vehicle charging points (“EVCPs”), contracts for the provision of car clubs, leases/licences for off-road EVCP infrastructure, highways licences for car club bays and EVCPs, and traffic management orders.

We advise housebuilders – whether private, social or affordable – to discharge their EVCP and car club-related planning obligations, as well as assisting the more altruistic and environmentally-minded developers to improve the lives and environment of those who come to live in their developments and embed the circular economy.

In addition to private housebuilders, developers and landowners we also advise local authorities as they seek to increase the roll-out of EVCPs and the uptake of car clubs in their administrative areas.

View our relevant experience.

EVCP installation agreements

We advise housebuilder and local authorities on agreements under which a contractor is required to install the EVCPs. We adopt a robust but pragmatic and commercial approach to ensure that the installation is not held up unnecessarily by contractual negotiations.

EVCP maintenance agreements

Housebuilder and local authority clients often outsource the maintenance and operation of the EVCPs. We have advised on a number of maintenance and operation agreements, spanning both the short- and longer-term to ensure the continued functionality (and revenue raising potential) of the EVCPs).

EVCP concession/joint venture agreements

Somewhat exceptionally, some housebuilders and local authorities may be in a position to let a concession for the maintenance and operation of EVCPs, or to turn the EVCPs into a revenue generating tool through the use of a profit share mechanism/contractual joint venture.

Car Club Agreements

We have advised a number of housebuilder and local authority clients on their procurement of car club operators for their development/administrative area. The car club operators are required to provide vehicles at the development/at specific locations in order to ensure that residents in the development/administrative area have easy access to the cars and any planning obligations are discharged.

Traffic Management Orders

EVCPs and car club spaces located on the public highway will require a Traffic Management Order (“TMO”), as well as (potentially) a licence of the relevant land. We advise on the detailed requirements of the TMOs and identify whether a licence is required for the continued operation of the EVCP or car club bay.

Grid connection agreements

EVCP providers/operators often rely on the housebuilder/local authority to procure the grid connection so that energising the EVCP can take place. For many, procuring suitable grid connections is business as usual but we have advised on the terms of grid connections and grid sharing deeds where there have been particular timing or grid capacity constraints.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why are private housebuilders and developers installing EVCPs in their residential developments?

    We find there are four reasons that housing developers are installing EVCPs in their new developments: (a) they are obliged to under s.106 obligations by the local planning authority; (b) they are driven by altruistic motives to help improve the lives of those resident at the development and the environment more generally; (c) the EVCPs offer an opportunity to increase the value of the individual units; and (d) through contractual joint ventures the developer may derive an income from the sale of electricity for many years after the final unit is sold at the development.

  • What commercial models are there for charging infrastructure?

    Depending on the motive for installing the EVCPs and the commercial objectives of the housing developer/local authority, the arrangements with EVCP providers can range from an “provide and install only” model, through to long-term “provide, install, operate and maintain” models. The “provide, install, operate and maintain” model can, depending on the requirements and motivation of the developer, be structured as a services-style arrangement, a concession or a contractual joint venture.  

  • Why are housing developers and local authorities getting involved in car club schemes?
    • Motivation for setting up and promoting car clubs largely rests on the type of organisation:
      • Housing developers are increasingly required to provide access to a car club (perhaps even free of charge) under s.106 Agreements.
      • Local authorities see the environmental, streetscene and economic benefits flowing from reducing rates private car ownership (especially as car club vehicles tend to be newer and well-maintained and therefore more efficient and environmentally friendly than aged, poorly maintained private vehicles) and increasing the availability of car clubs is one way of promoting these policy objectives.
    • Some housing developers and local authorities appreciate the increase in well-being that is associated with providing modes of private transport without putting residents to the capital expense of purchasing a vehicle and then being encumbered on an ongoing basis for maintenance and running costs.

      In recent years, the use of car clubs has become more mainstream as consumers have become more familiar with procuring the use of goods “as a service” rather than purchasing through capital spend.

  • Do car clubs need to provide electric vehicles?

    In short, no, not at the moment. However, as local planning authorities’ demands become more sophisticated, EVCP infrastructure becomes more widespread and the Government steps up to achieve the net zero carbon emissions target, we can expect that car clubs will be required to provide plug-in or hybrid cars in preference to internal combustion engine or “IBE” vehicles. Increasingly local authorities are requiring taxis to be electric rather than IBE vehicles: it is a logical step to assume that car clubs will join taxi firms in the relatively near future.

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