New partnership to set disabled access standards for public EV chargers

Disability charities asked for input on improving access and design for all drivers

Disability charities around the UK are being asked to help define new standards to ensure electric car charge points are accessible for everyone.

Organisations which work with people with disabilities or long-term health issues are being asked to give their view in a series of workshops being hosted by Motability in August.

The national disability charity is working with government departments and the British Standards Institute (BSI) to develop consistent standards that identify how accessible public charge points are and to help design more accessible chargers for the future.

The BSI and Motability are working to establish national standards for public EV chargers

The work will be based on responses to a recent public consultation on EV charge points but will also use input from disability charities.

Among factors being considered are the size of parking bays and the presence of obstructions such as bollards; kerb heights; the height of any screen or control panel; the weight of charging cables and the force required to plug them in.

These criteria will help categorise existing chargers as fully, partially or not accessible and inform the layout of future public charging stations.

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Disability charities are being asked for their input on how to make chargers easier to use

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.”

Barry Le Grys MBE, Chief Executive Officer at Motability, added: “There is a risk that disabled people are left behind as the UK’s transition to electric vehicles approaches, and Motability wants to ensure that this does not happen.

“We welcome the interest from Government in our research on electric vehicle charging and accessibility and we are excited about our partnership with the Office of 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.”

Organisations interested in participating in the Motability workshops should contact [email protected]