Property expert Rapleys has warned that proposed legislation in the Queen’s Speech could heap costs of £250m on operators of petrol filling stations and motorway services.

The proposed Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill is intended to encourage innovation and investment, and will require ‘large’ fuel retailers and motorway service stations to install electric charging points.

Rapleys has carried out research into how much it will cost operators to bring their facilities into line with the new requirements.

Mark Frostick, senior associate in the Automotive and Roadside team at Rapleys, commented: “While the definition of ‘large’ fuel retailers has yet to be confirmed, if it is by the size of the operator, rather than the size of the group, the cost for the industry could be staggering. If we assume that ‘large’ includes the oil companies, supermarkets and the largest independent groups, the proposed new rules could include more than 4,000 sites.

“A recent report from UK Power Networks found that the price for installing a rapid charger, which takes 30 minutes to refuel an electric car, would cost a minimum of £60,000 and could, depending on the location, be up to £2m. Even if we assume the lowest installation cost, we are likely looking at a total north of £250m for the industry to upgrade all eligible sites.

“Of course, some sites will already have charging points, and others will not have sufficient space, but this could be a major cost for the industry.