Responding to the appeal for a green Covid-19 recovery, the Government has brought forward the phasing out of new fossil-fuelled cars to 2030, as part of their 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution. The question that immediately comes into mind as a building services engineer is, how can the electricity transmission and distribution system deliver this ambition?

Listening to industry leaders, they are surprisingly sanguine. They appear very confident in the capability of National Grid's transmission system to adapt, conceding that the regional distribution network operators (DNOs) are under more strain. Their optimism is partly down to the results of trials of innovative smart charging technologies, such as Western Power Distribution's Electric Nation trial.  

Smart charging will undoubtedly play a critical role in reducing the necessity for grid reinforcements by managing the load on the grid autonomously. Such is their importance, legislation is now being put in place to mandate smart charging functionality in all domestic charging points.

What does the mandating of smart charging mean for the engineers who calculate the maximum demands operators use to produce the quotations that our clients accept and pay? It goes hand in hand with amendments currently being made to the IET Wiring Regulations.

Previously, we were bound to a code of practice that said were are not to apply any diversity factors to electric vehicle loads. The result was that we had to be quite innovative ourselves to provide our clients with realistic schemes, that did not require them to pay for massive, potentially unnecessary, network reinforcements. This year's first amendment to the 18th Edition of BS7671 finally revised maximum demand and diversity providing much-needed options for designers for load curtailment and starts to look at these maximum demand issues.