Small forecourts will struggle to accommodate electric charging facilities because of safety and parking requirements, according to Jamie Thompson, chairman of the technical committee of the Association for Petroleum and Explosives Administration (APEA).

"The government is very keen to get electric charging points on petrol stations I don’t think it’s the best place to put them, but it’s a requirement," he said at APEA’s recent conference in Milton Keynes. "But if you’ve got a small forecourt it would be very difficult. Certainly I know that our electrical experts are looking at ways to give forecourts better guidance, because companies are already starting to install these electric charging facilities and not all the petroleum enforcement authorities are aware of it. It is going to be a big problem.

"Charging points must be situated outside hazardous areas," he stressed. "Also the electrical supply to the vehicle charging station should be interlocked with the petrol station supply, so that it can be switched off by the petrol emergency switch to ensure safety."