The Motability Foundation is giving its endorsement to assessment schemes run by AccessAble and BSI Assurance UK that check the accessibility of public electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints.
The endorsement is part of the Motability Foundation’s work to ensure that disabled people are not left behind by the transition to EVs. The assessment schemes will give providers and manufacturers a way of checking if their public chargepoints conform with the PAS 1899 accessible charging standard.
This specification, published in October 2022, provides industry with a clear specification for making chargepoints accessible. It was commissioned by the Motability Foundation and the UK Government Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), following research which found that disabled people can face a range of barriers when using EV public chargepoints. These can include the weight of charging cables, the force required to attach the connector, lack of dropped kerbs around chargepoints and unsuitable parking arrangements.
The Motability Foundation is continuing to support the uptake of PAS 1899, and wanted to provide a way for organisations to check whether their chargepoints are meeting the accessibility standard, and help disabled people make informed decisions on where to charge their EVs with confidence.
Organisations that could provide an assessment scheme were invited to take part in an application process, during which they were required to provide details of how they would check for the core accessibility standards set in PAS 1899. Each organisation was asked to provide details of their approach to programme delivery, quality assurance and data sharing, as well as providing details of their project team and relevant previous experience of delivering assessment schemes.
After evaluating all applications received, the Motability Foundation’s selection panel reached the decision to award both AccessAble and BSI Assurance with its endorsement.
Chargepoint providers, landowners, local authorities and manufacturers will be able to contact AccessAble or BSI Assurance directly to arrange assessments. Further details on the services each scheme will offer will be made available in the coming weeks.
Results from assessments will be made freely available online, so that disabled people can make informed decisions about where to charge their electric vehicles.
Barry Le Grys, Chief Executive of the Motability Foundation said: “After an extensive application process we’re delighted to be awarding AccessAble and BSI Assurance with our endorsement for their accessible EV charging assessment scheme.
We know from our engagement with industry that providers and manufacturers are keen to have a way of checking if their chargepoints conform with the PAS 1899 standard. We also want disabled people to be able to easily locate accessible public chargepoints so they can make the journeys they choose in electric vehicles.
“These Motability Foundation endorsed schemes will provide that service, and we know that both AccessAble and BSI Assurance have the expertise and knowledge to provide a robust and fair assessment process.
“Engaging with an assessment scheme will allow providers of public EV charging to demonstrate their commitment to accessibility. It will also help to increase the number of accessible chargepoints, supporting disabled people with the transition to EVs.”
David Livermore, Director of Business Development at AccessAble, said, “We are delighted to be given Motability Foundation endorsement for our accessible EV charging assessment scheme. AccessAble has been established for over 23 years and we have surveyed more than 125,000 different spaces.
With a team of almost 50 surveyors and access consultants employed full time and based across the country, we are excited to get started! Our programme will not only provide specific insight and advice for operators in meeting PAS 1899, but will also provide them with an online Detailed Access Guide to promote the accessibility of their chargers that can then be used to plan trips and everyday activity by the 5 million + different disabled people currently using www.AccessAble.co.uk.”
Matt Page, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Assurance at BSI said: “Encouraging a greater uptake of electric vehicles by ensuring they are accessible is key to helping drive the transition to a net-zero economy.
“BSI is delighted to partner with the Motability Foundation and for them to endorse our Accessible EV Charger Kitemark scheme. This scheme ensures certified chargers are both accessible and safe. Building on the introduction last year of PAS 1889, this offers the opportunity to ensure that charging point providers and manufacturers continue to improve accessibility for all. This can help guarantee the transition to an electric vehicle society is one that is inclusive, and ultimately accelerates progress towards a sustainable world.”
The initial contract for the Motability Foundation's endorsement is for one year, with the possibility of an extension of up to two years following an annual review. The Motability Foundation will provide a further opportunity for organisations to apply for its endorsement in autumn 2024.