Navigating EV policies with government and regulation insights

Hayley Everett

Assessing the electric vehicle landscape from a government, policy and regulation perspective.


Following the UK Government’s decision to delay the ban on new diesel and petrol cars from 2030 to 2035 as part of what Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described as “a new approach to achieving net zero”, it appears the UK is not as far ahead of the curve with electric vehicle (EV) adoption as one might have previously thought.

At the very least, scrapping of the 2030 target has raised many questions: How far along the roadmap are we really to achieving zero tailpipe emissions? Is there the right amount of government backing and financial support to hit this new target? Will there be sufficient charging infrastructure and energy supply from the grid to make widespread EV adoption throughout the UK truly viable once we get there?

We take a look at the state-of-play of the EV sector in terms of current and future government action, the role that energy regulators such as Ofgem can play, and the need for cross-sectoral engagement between industry and other stakeholders.


While not an accurate representation of the rest of the UK, London is leading the way in terms of progress regarding investment and adoption in EV technology. Last October, the city implemented the world’s largest clean air zone, the controversial Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

“Pushing through this move was not easy,” says Seb Dance, London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport. “But we know it’s the right thing to do for our city and because the time for action is now. Our city continues to grapple with toxic air, and we know that in London road vehicles are the single biggest cause of pollution and one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions. This is why we are putting London at the forefront of a green transport revolution by investing in our public transport system encouraging people out of their polluting vehicles and into more sustainable modes of transport. For those of us who do need to drive, we have a reliable and extensive EV charging network in place to support that transition.”

According to Dance, London has more than 80,000 public charging points, making up over a third of the UK’s entire charging network, and representing a 340% increase since 2019. A new report commissioned in November found that new electric car registrations in London are outpacing the rest of the UK, with almost a quarter of all new cars in 2022 being electric. “This is an average growth rate of 5.5% every single year, while the rest of the UK’s yearly growth rate was just 3.8% over the same period,” Dance adds.

While this is good news for London, it does raise the discussion of funding and how it is distributed throughout the UK. Naturally, large cities like London will initially receive the bulk of funding for EV solutions as they are so-called ‘low-hanging fruit’, but for a truly UK-wide transition to electric there clearly needs to be a far wider distribution of funds to enable the adequate provision of charging infrastructure that the nation’s various geographical areas require.


Ofgem is Great Brittain’s independent energy regulator, and is responsible for working with government, industry and consumer groups to deliver net-zero economy. “We have a duty within transport decarbonisation, through our EV strategy our objective is to support the rapid deployment of EVs along a pathway that is consistent with net zero,” says Charlotte Patch, Head of Electric Vehicle strategy at Ofgem.

However, with the large increase in EVs on the road and subsequent charging infrastructure that will need to be implemented over the next few years as adoption increases, energy supply and availability will be a key challenge. “Going off estimates that up to 15 million EVs will be on the road by 2030, and therefore around 370,000 charging points will be needed to charge these vehicles, this is a really large amount of additional electricity demand and pressure on the system,” she adds. “While we have future energy scenarios and targets for this transition, this is remains unpredictable, as it depends on government policy, industry technology developments, and the international picture of energy demand and supply.”

Patch and her team have been working with the UK Government to put together the EV Smart Charging Action Plan, published in January 2023. “There are three key challenges that we need to solve to enable the EV transition. First is making smart charging the affordable, convenient choice for consumers. Second, is providing the right business landscape for EV smart charging products, and third is ensuring we have an energy system that is truly ready for EV smart charging.”

Looking ahead to the future of EV adoption, Patch says: “Looking at charging technologies, deployment of solar charging is happening. Vehicle-to-grid is the future, there is innovation happening within bidirectional charging. Ofgem wants to ensure that new technologies for EVs are smarter, not just for the drivers and owners, but for the electricity system itself. We want to create a more flexible, sustainable energy and electricity system, and EVs will be a big part of this.”




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