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All future electric car charging stations should be well lit and wheelchair friendly, says AA

New national standards for charging points for electric cars on the way: installations should have specific requirements to make them easily accessible for anyone with mobility problems

New national standards for charging points for electric cars on the way: installations should have specific requirements to make them easily accessible for anyone with mobility problems

Electric vehicle charging points should be made more accessible for one in five people with disabilities, AA president Edmund King told those responsible for strengthening Britain’s charging network.

He told the EV Infrastructure summit on Tuesday that all new devices must be well lit, provide adequate space for wheelchair users and generally be better designed for people with reduced mobility and/or physical disabilities.

His comments anticipate the expected arrival of new national standards, currently being drawn up by the government’s electric vehicle division, to set minimum requirements for public chargers to be installed in Britain in the future.

The AA says more needs to be done to educate motorists about the use of devices, and motorists are broadly advocating for greater accessibility when charging EVs outside people’s homes.

A poll of 17,302 permit holders last year found that three-quarters want all charging stations with designated EV parking spaces to be wheelchair-friendly and four in five say they should be designed with users with limited mobility in mind.

There was also a call to access dedicated 24/7 helplines in locations.

With charger installation expected to accelerate dramatically between now and the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, charities have called for on-site improvements to help people with disabilities.

Motability has been working on this issue in collaboration with the charity Designability, the British Standards Institution (BSI) and the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) and will result in a new national standard.

The AA said one of the minimum requirements for all new public charging facilities is that they be well lit and that screens and cables are within easy reach for people standing and sitting.

The AA said one of the minimum requirements for all new public charging facilities is that they be well lit and that screens and cables are within easy reach for people standing and sitting.

The AA said one of the minimum requirements for all new public charging facilities is that they be well lit and that screens and cables are within easy reach for people standing and sitting.

Edmund King OBE, AA president, told the conference: “The AA raised the issue of accessibility and safety at charging stations last year and interviewed surveyed members about it, but we are absolutely delighted that Motability has taken several steps forward and close is. to an approved standard.

Edmund King says his experience driving EVs has identified a number of charging usability issues, including heavy cables

Edmund King says his experience driving EVs has identified a number of charging usability issues, including heavy cables

Edmund King says his experience driving EVs has identified a number of charging usability issues, including heavy cables

In simple terms, charging posts should be well lit, close to amenities, with space around the vehicle to allow people to use walking or mobility aids.

‘In addition, it is essential that the instructions, the screen and the cables are easy to see and use both sitting and standing.’

King, who regularly tests the latest electric vehicles, says he has learned from his own experience using a plug-in car that not all chargers are suitable for people with mobility problems.

He said the height and weight of cables, especially in confined spaces with limited space, were one of the biggest issues.

These concerns would be taken into account in the design of a new ‘iconic’ charging point, funded by the government and unveiled in late 2021.

Designed by the Royal College of Art and PA Consulting following a £200,000 grant from the OZEV and unveiled by Grant Shapps in November, the device is said to be ‘inclusively accessible to all’ with the information printed on the side of the charging pole and the handle of the charger at a height that can be reached by a person in a wheelchair.

“Creating new charging stations that are easily accessible will not only benefit disabled drivers, but will be of great help to our aging population and indeed all drivers,” added Mr King.

Pictured: Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps unveils new charging station for cars designed by the Royal College of Art at the Design Museum in London on 10 November 2021

Pictured: Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps unveils new charging station for cars designed by the Royal College of Art at the Design Museum in London on 10 November 2021

Pictured: Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps unveils new charging station for cars designed by the Royal College of Art at the Design Museum in London on 10 November 2021

Millions ‘don’t have confidence’ about charging electric cars

Calls for a new minimum standard for charging point accessibility comes as a separate AA report has revealed that millions of drivers are generally unsure about how to charge EVs.

According to a poll of more than 13,400 motorists, about 39 percent would not be comfortable knowing which chargers are compatible with a particular EV.

The survey also found that 30 percent of motorists are not confident they would be able to use a public charge point correctly without assistance, and 22 percent feel the same about charging at home.

More than a quarter (27 percent) of respondents said they weren’t confident they could understand the range of an EV.

To use charging points, EV drivers need to know the maximum charging speed of their car and what type of plug they can be connected to.

The AA says this general lack of understanding from the general public should lead to more information about EVs being included in the highway code.

Millions of drivers are unsure about EV charging, new AA survey suggests

Millions of drivers are unsure about EV charging, new AA survey suggests

Millions of drivers are unsure about EV charging, new AA survey suggests

It expressed concern that there is currently no specific advice on EVs in the code, despite the sale of new conventional fuel cars being banned in the UK from 2030.

AA Driving School interim director Mark Oakley said: ‘With the ban on new petrol and diesel cars only eight years away, the highway code needs to be updated to reflect future direction of travel.

“EVs have been growing in popularity for years and we are excited to introduce them to the AA Driving School from March, but our research clearly shows that our instructors need to play a key role in educating student drivers about the technology and terminology to help them to.

“New drivers are still getting to grips with EVs and learning what’s best for them.

“We are committed to playing our part in the early adoption of EVs for new learners to enroll in, but we would call on the government to improve the information and guidance that is publicly available.”

An update to the Highway Code on January 29, setting out new rules that give pedestrians and cyclists priority over motorists at intersections.

It also includes more details about smart highways, which were postponed last week due to safety concerns.

The only EV-related addition is a reminder that EV charging cables can be a tripping hazard on sidewalks.

> Read our guide to the legal consequences of a charging cable from your home to the road

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