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I don't think they should conflate EVs with self-driving cars in the same bill. But leaving that aside, it's a start, albeit not very detailed. I would like to see some really hard requirements on payment. Every user should be able to use any charge point in the country using only widely accepted payment systems such as a credit or debit card. It hints at such requirements but does not spell them out.
 

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I don't think they should conflate EVs with self-driving cars in the same bill. But leaving that aside, it's a start, albeit not very detailed. I would like to see some really hard requirements on payment. Every user should be able to use any charge point in the country using only widely accepted payment systems such as a credit or debit card. It hints at such requirements but does not spell them out.
That's just the way parliamentary bills work. The previous incantation had a third section about aviation. Not self-driving aviation, nor electric aviation, simply a bunch of completely unrelated regulations that they wanted to get through.

This is an enabling bill. The purpose of part 2 is to permit the government to introduce further regulations as necessary (and as secondary legislation). In itself it doesn't actually mean we end up with any of the regulations that are enabled, but it puts a big boot of the backsides of the supermarkets and large filling station operators to do something before they are compelled to do it. The difference of course being that if they do move now then either they get no future regulation or future regulation will be compatible with whatever they do.

The purpose of part 1 is to enable the development of self-driving vehicles by setting out where the legal responsibilities lie in the event of an accident. Without that the insurance companies will not insure anything so the industry cannot exist.
 

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Scanning through the bills to spot any significant difference between the 2016 bill and this one I think they've tightened the definition of 'driving itself', and cleaned up the bit that talked rubbish about operating system updates:

1 (1)(b) are in the Secretary of State’s opinion designed or adapted to be
capable, in at least some circumstances or situations, of safely driving
themselves without having to be monitored by an individual.

Section 4 changes 'alterations to the vehicles operating system' to 'software alterations that are prohibited under the policy' and rewords everything to make it clear that failing to apply software updates can only impact liability where they are safety critical.

7 (1) For the purposes of this Part—

(a) a vehicle is “driving itself” if its operation is not being controlled, and does not need to be monitored, by an individual;

Part 2 is word for word identical with the earlier bill (as far as I can see from just looking at it).

Part 3 from the old bill "Civil Aviation" is gone entirely, and beyond that I lost the will to read any further.
 

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It's still in there if you fail to update the software then insurance company can weasel out of paying if self driving car has a fault accident. Whether that means the insurance pays out nothing or it's just a normal at fault person claim isn't clear.
 

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It's still in there if you fail to update the software then insurance company can weasel out of paying if self driving car has a fault accident. Whether that means the insurance pays out nothing or it's just a normal at fault person claim isn't clear.
Only if you had "knew, or ought reasonably to have known" the update was safety critical.

Also
software updates are “safety-critical” if it would be unsafe to use the vehicle in question without the updates being installed
could be a very useful clause. If the manufacturer tells you to apply an update but it is purely precautionary then I don't think in that case a court could find that it was unsafe to use the vehicle without the update. So to shift the liability I reckon they will have to be pretty clear which updates are safety critical and which are purely advisory.
 

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For those interested in this bill (which should be all of us), the transcript of the second reading is now available.
Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill - Hansard Online

Some highlights (except where otherwise stated quotes are from John Hayes, Minister for Transport Legislation and Maritime):
I was about to come on to the principal reasons people cite for not buying electric cars. The first is the up-front cost, which will of course come down as volumes grow. As he will know, the Government already contribute considerable amounts of money—again, I will speak a bit more about that later—to offsetting some of that cost. The second is battery reliability, and people’s doubts about the technology that is driving electric vehicles. The third is the charging infrastructure, as he described, which is precisely why the Bill addresses that point. It is vital to put in place a charging infrastructure that is widely available and consistent, and that works. He described the circumstance in which someone who might otherwise have bought an electric vehicle is put off from doing so because they are not confident that the infrastructure is as good as it should be, and that is precisely why the Government are addressing this matter in the Bill.
Hon. Members will know that, as we have begun to debate tonight, the Government have set the goal that nearly all cars and vans should be emission-free at the tailpipe by 2050.
Had we heard that 2050 date before? Still a long time in the future though.

Geraint Davies (Swansea West) (Lab/Co-op):
On the priorities for the charging infrastructure, will he confirm that the focus is on shopping centres and other places where people naturally leave their cars for a considerable time, not just petrol stations and places where they want to nip in and out? If there is a limited resource, it is obviously in the interests of the oil companies to have all the chargers at petrol stations to put people off, but we need them to be where people go shopping and stop at motorway services, and that should be the top priority.
Mr Hayes reply:
That is a well-made point and one that we explored when we considered these matters previously. It is very important that the charging infrastructure is spread. There is a risk, which has been highlighted by Members from all parties, including the SNP Members who served on the last Bill Committee, that charging infrastructure becomes focused on major routes and in urban and suburban areas, and that smaller roads and rural parts of our kingdom are under-provided. That is not acceptable and we will look at ways of addressing it.

The Bill is born of a determination to increase the number of charging points. It does, as the hon. Member for Swansea West (Geraint Davies) suggests, talk of major retailers at the moment, but I am prepared to look at other ideas for how we can seed more charging points more widely. I have no doubt that we will explore that during the passage of the Bill.
There is already a rapid charger at nearly all motorway service areas, but I am mindful of what the hon. Member for Barrow and Furness (John Woodcock) said about making sure that they are working efficiently. We will consider that as a result of his contribution.
We're going to get a competition! Oh how exciting, we get to decide on a name and badging for the Hayes Hookup (my entry!!!). Yawn.
In that vein, the Department will be seeking the views of the public on the design of the charging infrastructure. I promised previously a public consultation—indeed, a competition—to develop a charging infrastructure that is instantly recognisable. It seems to me absolutely right that when one drives down a street, one should be able to spot an electric charging point rather as one can spot a pillar box or Belisha beacon. It would be appropriate—although I leave this for others to decide—if my name were associated with such a thing. The shadow Secretary of State has suggested it should and I will take that as a proposal, but it is for the House to consider whether it agrees with that proposal and to make a decision on the exact nature of the name. Something alliterative and memorable might suit.

We certainly need to think about consistency with regard to charging points. People need to know where they are. We have electric vehicle charging points outside the Department for Transport, but I am not sure that anyone could spot them driving down Horseferry Road unless they knew that they were there and were familiar with what an electric charging point looked like. They do not stand out and perhaps they should.
Luck them:
Partly as a result of the overtures from my hon. Friend the Member for North West Hampshire (Kit Malthouse) and partly to alleviate any fears that the hon. Gentleman may have, I can announce that from next summer, when we begin the refurbishment of the underground car park at the House of Commons, we will provide 80 new electric charge points.
Helen Goodman made a sensible point:
On the point about skills, as I have said, I bought a Nissan Leaf, and I was struck by the fact that the men in the garage were not good at explaining how it worked. Of the 20 people employed there, I think that only one really understood it. The sales forces also have to understand how these things work.
Karl Turner:
On infrastructure more broadly, the Government must ensure that regulatory divergence does not develop between the UK and the EU as a result of Brexit; this is a very important issue. We must absolutely ensure that regulation and standards are maintained after Brexit. That is essential if the UK is to be the vehicle manufacturers’ location of choice for the development, testing and deployment of automated and electric vehicles. However, if the Government continue to mess up Brexit, any positives this Bill brings in terms of encouraging the automated and low emissions vehicles industries will be completely negated.
Mrs Gillan:
An interesting by-product is the question of what will be needed for the manufacture of the batteries. Volkswagen estimates that 40 gigafactories are going to be needed for battery manufacture globally, and there is a belief that there is scope for a number of those factories to be located in the UK. They would create new manufacturing jobs and inward investment, if domestic markets were created for those battery products. I hope that the Minister will tell us what possibilities exist to encourage that sort of investment in our manufacturing in the UK.
Alan Brown:
Where better to trial the use of autonomous vehicles roads than on the narrow country roads of Scotland? Scotland still has single track country roads with passing places, and we sometimes have stand-offs where the drivers look at each other and wonder who is going to reverse all the way back to a passing place. Autonomous vehicles could improve that situation and make narrow rural roads safer, but trials will need to be held to see how autonomous vehicles cope with such situations.
That's about half way down but I've got to do some work so I'll read the other half later.

Lots of other good bits in there. It seems to me the debate this time round is better, and the MPs are better informed and a lot of them now own EVs, though sadly the minister is still at the 'I've test driven one and been driven in one many times' stage.
 

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Do we have a Mark Clemence on here? Someone got their money's worth for a letter to their MP.
Amanda Milling (Cannock Chase) (Con)
I am grateful to you, Madam Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity to speak this evening. I want to put on the record that I welcome the Bill. I will focus my contribution on clauses 8 to 15, the electric vehicles part of the proposed legislation. I want to make a couple of points based partly on my experience of market research on new and developing technologies and those in their infancy, as well as some of the difficulties we face in that area, and partly on points made by my constituents, because Cannock Chase was previously a bit of a blackspot when it came to public charging points.

One of the reasons for welcoming the Bill is that it will address some of the barriers to adopting electric vehicles. Overcoming those barriers will be key to meeting the targets on take-up, carbon emissions and air quality. To meet those targets we need a step change to get a breakthrough into the mass market. I have mentioned my experience of researching new technologies. My hon. Friend the Member for Milton Keynes South (Iain Stewart) quite rightly made the point that it is very difficult to predict the take-up of new and emerging technologies. I remember researching issues such as broadband, contactless cards and mobile banking, and I can tell hon. Members that before those products came to market, people just could not get their heads around them and they did not always go down terribly well. The barriers people put up involved price, simple fears of the unknown, security issues, the status quo kicking in—just being much happier sticking with what they already knew—and not necessarily having a clear view of the benefits.

I could go on at length, but I will come back to electric vehicles because, fundamentally, the learning point was the need to address such issues and barriers, and the fact that engaging the public was about ensuring that there was awareness, and that consumers really understood the new technology and could see its benefits. Why is this relevant to electric vehicles? The answer is that there are the barriers stopping consumers and the public buying these vehicles in the first instance, and there are the frustrations of those who already own one. I welcome the idea that we are looking to improve the consumer experience and expand the electric vehicle infrastructure, because that will go some way to addressing those barriers. It is important to ensure that we address the fears and concerns of those who do not already own such a vehicle, and some of the fair frustrations of existing owners.

I want to turn my attention to the points made by one of my constituents, Mark Clemence. He has raised this issue with me on numerous occasions, and when I knew last week that the Bill was coming to the House, I sought more feedback from him and asked him to elaborate. I am very grateful to Mr Clemence. Unfortunately, I do not have enough time to go through all the detail. He provided a lot of detail, which has been very helpful because I do not, unfortunately, own an electric car and do not know about the issues some consumers face. It is important that the Bill should address the pull factors in the market, rather than the push factors for adopting electric cars. Mr Clemence says:

“I suppose my 3 sound bite message is…make it easy to own and run an EV”—

electric vehicle—

“keep the cost of commercial public charges reasonable…and encourage local authorities to install charge points in the car parks.”

He goes on:

“We are all happy to pay for electricity but if the cost per mile reaches that of a petrol car, then there will be no incentive to change to electric vehicles.”

Those points align incredibly neatly with the Bill.

Other constituents have spoken and written to me about these issues. There are concerns about the accessibility of public charging points, as many Members have said. There is a fear among consumers who do not have an electric vehicle—perhaps it is even a fear among some who do—that they would run out of power. I have learned this evening that that is called “range anxiety”.

Given that Cannock Chase has been a black spot in terms of public charging points and that Staffordshire has been at best patchy, one can understand why my constituents have not been at the forefront of adopting electric cars. However, I was pleased to learn that Chargemaster recently installed a rapid public charger in Bridgtown and that there are new Pod Point charge points in Hednesford car park, although there are potential issues with those charging points. We need to ensure that all places are well served by charging points. I believe that Milton Keynes is well served, in contrast to Staffordshire.

We need to look at where the public want to charge their cars and align the charging points to the location. I am concerned about the points in Hednesford because Mr Clemence tells me that it would take him 10 hours to charge his car in that car park, whereas a rapid charger gives him 95% of the power in 35 minutes. I am not sure that he plans to spend 10 hours in the car park in Hednesford.

Another constituent has raised the issue of public charging points at motorway service stations and large fuel retailers. I am pleased to see that covered in the Bill. They also suggest that we need to ensure that charging points are included in planning for new fuel stations, one of which we have in Cannock Chase.

Mr Clemence raised the issue of cost and the sheer complexity of it because there are so many variables, such as the unit price, the price per kilowatt-hour, the subscription fees—I could go on, but I think everyone would rather I did not. Another issue is the consistency with which pricing information is provided.

At the moment, it seems that the user experience is rather clunky. I return to Mr Clemence—he really did give me lots of information. He has two apps and three RFID—radio frequency identification—cards for different suppliers. He suggests that it would be much easier to have a more universal system. It strikes me that it is a bit like the days when there were lots of different cash machines and people could not use the entire network. I hope that the Bill will resolve some of those issues.

I welcome the Bill. It addresses many of the issues the public have raised. There is also work for the market to do. By making these moves, we should be able to overcome some of the issues in public awareness and public confidence in electric vehicles, such as range anxiety. The more points we see around the country in more locations, the more confident people will be that they will be able to charge their car.

Finally, I believe that having a universal signpost or branded icon to signify a location where people can charge their electric vehicle will raise public awareness of the points and make consumers more comfortable that there are different locations where they can charge their car.

In short, I welcome the Bill and hope that these measures and developments, as well as the work on the part of the industry, will ensure that there is a breakthrough in the adoption of electric cars.
 

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They're spot on about Staffordshire. The major councils like Moorlands, Newcastle Under Lyme and East Staffs have no chargers. Not one. Stafford has a few. SOTCC have managed to get a few into Hanley. Derbyshire isn't much better. I'm still waiting for Amber Valley to even respond about chargers. I emailed them August 2016.
 

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They're spot on about Staffordshire. The major councils like Moorlands, Newcastle Under Lyme and East Staffs have no chargers. Not one. Stafford has a few. SOTCC have managed to get a few into Hanley. Derbyshire isn't much better. I'm still waiting for Amber Valley to even respond about chargers. I emailed them August 2016.
Try a follow-up FoI request demanding to know their plans to install a suitable charging infrastructure. That way they have a fixed time to reply.
 
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Have your say on the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill - News from Parliament
Re above
the bill now in it's select committee stage and they have posted, asking for written input ( Expertise & experience ) .
End date for any submission is 5.00pm on Thursday 16th November 2017 to [email protected].
You should probably include the caveat on that end date:
However, please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Thursday 16th November 2017.
 

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There was a Minister (at least I think he was, didn’t catch his name) on the radio over the weekend.

He was suggesting that the government could use the bill to get the law changed around DPF filter removal from diesels. Something about making it unlawful for garages to help owners delete them.

Hopefully the many amendments such as the above don’t end up derailing it.
 

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I've already sent in my 2p worth. Whether it will do any good suggesting Ad Hoc can't involve apps or other messing about will remain to be seen.
What is your ad-hoc solution?

They have already ruled out replacing all the existing points with new, contactless ones due to high cost to do so.
 

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I think the huge geographic holes in the Rapid Charger Network ( Wales - A55 , East Anglia - Lincolnshire , etc ) are a more pressing issue than , fixing updating existing chargers . Much as I'd like to see it happen .
 

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Have your say on the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill - News from Parliament
Re above
the bill now in it's select committee stage and they have posted, asking for written input ( Expertise & experience ) .
End date for any submission is 5.00pm on Thursday 16th November 2017 to [email protected].
Maybe they should re-read some of the consultation document submitted, or perhaps 'read' (for the first time).

What's the difference between this and the consultation?
 

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EH shouldn’t have the choice. They either do RFID, contactless payment card or free vend. All solutions are basically ad hoc and don’t require much else. Same goes for the rest of them.

Are there any rapid chargers that don’t have rfid card reading hardware?
 
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