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MEPs have voted in favour of new pan-European legislation to ensure that all non-residential buildings should have charging points for electric cars. The new rule is part of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), which will be voted upon, in its full form, by the European Parliament in December.
The rationale is that non-residential buildings (basically offices, shops, and public buildings) have a high-turnover of visitors, and that their parking spaces are used by many drivers in a day, thereby ensuring that each charging point is exposed to the maximum possible use.
Speaking for the Platform For Electromobility, a pressure group advocating the use of electric cars, Teodora Serafimova of Bellona Europa said: "MEPs rightly see the need to make charging points obligatory in non-residential buildings. Larger office buildings and commercial centres often provide parking spaces that are not limited to a single employee or customer, and so ensure greater visibility and maximum use of the charging points."
Ms Serafimova also welcomed the result of a second vote which approved the streamlining of getting approval for the installation of a new charging point, both for commercial and residential buildings. Basically, the new legislation should ensure that you can automatically install a charging point as long as there is no material reason for objection. Teodora Serafimova concluded: "The European Parliament's support for 'right to the plug' is key. Granting European citizens the right to install a charging point, without significant administrative hurdles, is essential to encouraging consumers to go for the electric option."
There was some disappointment, though, that MEPs didn't vote for sections of the legislation that would ensure that the new charging points would be smart-metered (allowing the user to set them to charge when the cost of electricity is at its lowest), nor a rule that says any installed charging point should be compliant with EU charging connector standards under the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive. The new directive also only says that pre-wiring for a charging point must be included in only one out of every ten new public parking spaces.