Electric vehicle charges brought in

The rapid charge point on the shorefront in Brodick.

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Charges are to be introduced to the electric vehicle charging points on Arran and across North Ayrshire.

However,  as part of the council’s commitment to tackling the climate crisis, it has been developing a network of EV charge points and now has 28 charge points across North Ayrshire.

And that number is set to rise in the coming years as we meet the demand for the increasing popularity of electric vehicles.

At present, there are five EV charge points on Arran – but only one of the rapid charge points (CPID 50525) is hosted by North Ayrshire Council, and the rest are owned privately.

But a North Ayrshire Council spokesman said: ‘We are working to bring more publicly-accessible chargers to support EV ownership. However, we do not have a confirmed list of proposed charge point installations at present, as we are still in the process of securing funding.’

The council’s cabinet has approved its first-ever electric vehicle (EV) strategy which proposes a target of one publicly accessible charge point for every nine plug-in vehicles by December 2025.

As demand and costs increase, it is also proposed to introduce a tariff and overstay fee for those using the charging points, similar to other local authorities in Scotland.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, cabinet member for green new deal and sustainability, said: ‘We are very proud of the work we have carried out so far as part of our ambitious plans to tackle the climate crisis.

‘We have set ourselves a target of being a carbon net-zero area by 2030, so it’s vital that all of us play our part in that journey.

‘As part of our new climate change strategy – which builds on our recent policy announcements on the green jobs fund, food growing, tree planting and our council-owned solar farm – we are publishing our first electric vehicle strategy.

‘This sets out our aspiration to expand our electric vehicle charging point network across North Ayrshire as we encourage more people to consider electric vehicles to reduce greenhouse emissions and tackle climate change.’

The number of people using electric vehicles and charging them at council-operated charging points has soared in recent years, with electricity usage rising from 4,126 kWh in 2015 to 127,947 kWh in 2020.

During that period, the council has provided free electricity from charge points to EV users.

In order to ensure that the increasing popularity of electric vehicles is sustainable, it is proposed to introduce a tariff and overstay fee for EV charge points across North Ayrshire, similar to other Scottish local authorities who have already introduced tariffs.

Last year alone, the electricity cost was £20,345, which reflects both public (£18,144) and NAC fleet vehicle (£2,201) use. Due to the increasing electricity costs it is no longer sustainable for the council to provide free electricity for public EV infrastructure.

The tariff and overstay fee proposed by the council is in line with recommendations from the Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) Scotland and Charge Place Scotland, and is proposed as follows:

• £0.30 per kWh for rapid charge points (over 43kW)

• £0.19 per kWh for destination charge points (all slower charge points e.g. 22kW, 7kW and 3kW)

• Overstay flat fee of £10 will automatically apply after 70 minutes for rapid charge points and 190 minutes for destination charge points.