People can continue to charge their electric vehicles at no cost apart from the on-street or car park charge for a further 12 months after it was agreed at committee yesterday (Tues 15 March).
Aberdeen City Council’s Communities, Housing and Infrastructure committee approved a report on the service.
Aberdeen City Council’s Communities, Housing and Infrastructure convener Councillor Neil Cooney said: “This is a fantastic scheme and will help to encourage more people to change to electric vehicles.
“We hope many more motorists will go electric and will make use of our facility of not charging for the electricity.”
The report to committee said the supply and installation of the EV Charging Units has, to date, been 100% grant funded by Transport Scotland, the Scottish Government Transport Agency, OLEV, the UK Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Energy Saving Trust Scotland. Funding has been awarded to Community Planning Partnerships in each local authority area with Community Planning Partners (CPPs) the recipients.
Since the Aberdeen public network was installed in 2013, the cost of providing the electricity for these units has been absorbed by the City Council.
Figures obtained from EDF, the City Council’s energy provider, reveal that, since they were installed, the cost of running the 34 charge points that the Council has figures for is £13,116.
The Aberdeen Air Quality Action Plan (2011) identifies road traffic as the main contributor to poor air quality in Aberdeen. Given that Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) offer zero and reduced tailpipe emissions respectively when compared with 100% Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles, facilitating the use of such vehicles could make a difference to Aberdeen air quality.
The report to committee further said evidence suggests that people choose EVs and PHEVs partly for their environmental credentials and partly due to the low running costs. An 80 mile journey in an EV typically costs around £2.50 in electricity, around a quarter of the price of an equivalent fossil fuelled vehicle. Still, only 1% of new car sales in Scotland are EV and PHEV and it is argued that the current low cost of petrol and diesel at the pumps is doing little to help uptake.
The free use of the charging infrastructure could be considered as a significant incentive to stimulate interest. If this is not offered, the uptake could be limited and this could have a detrimental impact upon sustainability and environmental issues.
Aberdeen City Council won a Scottish Transport Award in 2015 for its work “Powering ahead with electric vehicles”, and is regarded by the Electric Vehicle Association Scotland (EVAS) as the best EV Council in Scotland. By continuing to present the city as EV friendly, the Council aims to uphold this reputation both with users and transport professionals alike.