Minimal fees to be introduced for electric vehicle charging use

Aberdeenshire Council is to introduce minimal charges for the use of its electric vehicle charging points in light of growing pressures on its budget.

During the early implementation of electric vehicle (EV) charging units there was an expectation by Transport Scotland that there would be no charge to the customer to use the EV units to help support a wider uptake of electric vehicles.

However, the number of ‘charging events’ across Aberdeenshire in the last 12 months has risen to 25,000 compared to 17,000 in 2017/18.

This has resulted in an increase in current costs associated with operation and maintenance of the EV charging network and also indicates that there will be a growing pressure on the council budget if no mechanism for cost recovery is put in place.

On Thursday (Nov 28) the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee approved the recommended charge of £0.21 per kWh to allow for full recovery of costs associated with the operation of public EV charge points.

As transactions and energy costs may vary in time, the council will also review the costs annually and amend the charges accordingly.

Aberdeenshire Council has worked positively with funding partners Transport Scotland and has been able to deliver more than 50 charging points across the region.

Director of Infrastructure Services, Stephen Archer, said: “Given the wider strategic commitments to decarbonise the transport network in line with climate change targets that will see an ongoing expansion of the public EV charging network, the costs associated with operating and maintaining the charge points will also continue to increase.

“Whilst the initial provision of this electricity at no cost will have aided the initial move to EV use, continuing to cover the costs of the electricity consumed along with ongoing maintenance costs will create an increasing pressure on the council budget.”