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Scots councils plan EV charging tariffs

Electric Vehicles

20 February 2021

More councils in central Scotland are preparing to introduce tariffs for electric vehicle drivers using public chargepoints. As well as reducing the authority’s own electricity costs, the councils hope charges will encourage the private sector to install more chargepoints.  

North and South Lanarkshire councils are the council members of the £5.3m PACE project to accelerate the introduction of rapid and fast chargers. It also includes the Scottish Government, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, and Scottish Power Energy Networks. 

The first chargers delivered by the project were installed at Strathclyde Park last July. Installations have since been made in Coatbridge, Airdrie, Cumbernauld, Motherwell, Kilsyth, Wishaw, Moodiesburn, Viewpark, and Shotts. 

“Although the chargers have been operational for a short time there is evidence that commercial operators are taking advantage of the free electricity, particularly at the Strathclyde Park site,” Nicole Patterson, head of environmental assets, told North Lanarkshire’s environment and transportation committee. The council is to explore introducing tariffs.

Patterson said that, although the project had expanded EV charging coverage, it was “unlikely that the council will be viewed as the primary provider of this infrastructure in the longer term”. 

“Commercial operators will be unable to compete with free charging. In the longer term this may act as a constraint to the rollout of commercially operated chargers.”

West Lothian Council also plans to introduce charges. Peter Rogers, energy and climate change manager, said charges would “create more favourable market conditions for private sector investment in network development”.

West Lothian’s tariff for rapid (over 43kW) chargers will be: £1 minimum charge, £0.30 unit rate/kWh, maximum stay limit of 45 minutes, and an overstay charge of £1/minute.

For fast and standard chargers (7-22kW), the tariffs will be: £1 minimum charge, £0.16 unit rate/kWh, no maximum stay.

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