The government has partnered with disability charity Motability to set accessibility standards for the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) charge point infrastructure.
With one in five people in the UK living with a disability, it is estimated that there will be 2.7 million disabled drivers or passengers by 2035, with 1.35 million expected to be partially or wholly reliant on public charging infrastructure.
However, a lack of accessibility across the UK’s EV charging network has been identified by disability charity Designability as being a key problem area.
In a bid to tackle this, DfT has partnered with Motability to commission the British Standards Institution (BSI) to develop accessibility standards for EV chargepoints across the country.
These standards will provide industry bodies with guidance and drivers with a new clear definition of ‘fully accessible’, ‘partially accessible’ and ‘not accessible’ public EV charge points.
Measures to improve accessibility could range from adequate space between bollards, charging units being of a suitable height for wheelchair users or the size of the parking bay.
Motability is also working with charity Designability to engage with disabled drivers and identify their requirements for accessible charging.
Barry Le Grys MBE, chief executive officer at Motability, said: ‘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 the government in our research on electric vehicle 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 looks forward to a future where electric vehicle charging is inclusive for all.’
To ensure all interested stakeholders have the opportunity to come together and inform the standards, Motability will be holding a series of workshops on accessibility and electric vehicle charging in August.
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