On 28 September 2021, the Office for Zero Emission vehicles published a consultation paper on the future of transport regulatory review: zero emission vehicles. We consider the proposals outlined in the consultation which closed on 22 November 2021.

The future of transport regulatory review

In November last year the UK Government committed to phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030. The regulatory review seeks to identify how transport regulation in England and Wales can be amended to facilitate the UK Government in meeting this commitment.

The UK Government has identified the rollout of charging infrastructure as critical to achieving its ambitions. At present there are 25,000 public charge points but the Government notes this figure needs to increase quickly. To that end, the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) is seeking views on new primary legislation that would give the Government powers to introduce requirements in the following four areas.

  • a statutory obligation to plan for and provide charging infrastructure
  • requirements to install charge points in non-residential car parks
  • new powers to support the delivery of the Rapid Charging Fund
  • requirements to improve the experience for electric vehicle consumers

What could this mean for local authorities in England and Wales?

One proposal is to impose a statutory obligation on local authorities to plan for and deliver a charging infrastructure. Currently local charging infrastructure provision (on-street and rapid hubs) is installed at the discretion of local authorities. However, the Government notes that whilst many local authorities have taken positive steps towards planning for this infrastructure provision, others risk not meeting the current and future needs of their communities.

As the demand for electric vehicles increases, the Government expects that a local authority's role will be to plan the best locations for operators to install charge points and support residents. The UK Government notes that there is unlikely to be a single charge point provision solution that meets the needs of every local authority due to factors such as variations in population density.

The Government is also considering powers to require landowners in England to provide a minimum level of EV charging infrastructure in non-residential car parks. To ensure compliance, the Government is considering providing local weights and measures authorities or local authority building control bodies with certain enforcement provisions.


The proposals in this paper are an early indication of the measures that the UK Government is considering taking to achieve the ambitious targets it has set for itself. These proposals signal a move away from encouraging local authorities to take action to actually requiring such action through the use of primary and secondary legislation. If such statutory duties are created, local authorities could face legal action if they fail to plan and provide a charging infrastructure.

If you have any queries related to the above, or any other related matter, please get in touch with Jackie McGuire, Johanna Boyd or Finlay MacKenzie.