The government has revealed plans that will require national fuel retailers to install electric charge points at petrol stations across the country. 

Secretary of state for transport Chris Grayling presented the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill before parliament this week, and MPs will have their first debate on the proposals on Monday 23 October. 

The proposals also include rules on insurance for autonomous cars – should the legislation be passed through both Houses of Parliament it will pave the way for more widespread testing of autonomous vehicles on UK roads, as well as allowing for more autonomous features to be used on existing cars. 

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Transport minister John Hayes said: ‘This bill will aid the construction of greater infrastructure to support the growing demand for automated and electric vehicles as we embrace this technology and move into the future.’

The new rules will require all new EV plugs to be so-called smart chargers, which connect to the internet and inform electric vehicle drivers about their status via sat navs or mobile apps. Further funding is also set to be made available to local authorities to provide new electric points in residential areas. 

Motorist organisation the RAC Foundation has welcomed the proposals: ‘It is clear that government needs to do more to accelerate the take-up of electric vehicles, tackling the issues that are currently persuading motorists to sick with conventional fuels, as well as paving the way for autonomy,’ said director Steve Gooding. ‘The test, though, will be how effectively those powers are exercised.’