After Vahanomy joined the British Parking Association (BPA) earlier this year, I embarked on a trip to Birmingham for the highly anticipated Parkex/Traffex event at the NEC on 6th and 7th June 2023.
Having started my day early and caught a punctual train, I arrived at the venue around lunchtime on the first day. The event was bustling with activity, featuring numerous delegates and over 100 exhibitions showcasing a wide range of offerings, from data collectors to equipment providers. My primary objective was to attend several presentations at the EV Infrastructure forum, which centred around various public EV charging topics.
The industry representatives delivered exceptional presentations, including a stimulating discussion on National Highways’ plan to implement an Electrification Cable Management system for Rapid Charge points at 114 locations along motorways and major A roads.
One of the most debated topics was PAS1899, which focused on accessibility for EV chargers. PAS 1899:2022 is a new specification that sets out the minimum accessibility standards for public EV charge points, considering the needs of all users, including disabled and older people. This standard has been produced by the British Standards Institution (BSI), co-sponsored by Motability, and the UK Government’s Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles (OZEV). There was considerable discussion about establishing a minimum standard for charging point requirements to avoid the potential need for retrofitting. Additionally, there was a broader conversation about pavement access and the utilisation of land for various purposes, extending beyond the current charge point options and future ones entering the market.
Another contentious issue that drew significant attention was payment methods. Some European countries shared their experiences in dealing with similar challenges and highlighted the support they received from governments and industry bodies to ensure that Charging Point Operators (CPOs) embrace non-contractual tap-and-go payment options usable at any charge point. Given the multitude of CPOs in the UK market, this is certainly something worth considering.
Throughout my time at the event, I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations delivered by government representatives, equipment providers, policy and planning experts, and professionals in payment technologies and e-commerce.