Argyll and Bute Council’s ongoing commitment to tackling the climate emergency is being clearly evidenced through its ongoing Electric Vehicle (EV) infrastructure programme. The main drivers underpinning the EV infrastructure programme are:
- Scottish Government has pledged to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030
- UK Government has pledged to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars (excluding some hybrids) from 2030
A key project contributing positively towards the above targets is the Council’s Local Authority Installation Programme (LAIP). Funded by Transport Scotland, this annual programme further develops the EV public charging network so that EV drivers can confidently travel throughout Scotland – in both urban and rural areas.
A small EV Infrastructure project team is delivering this project and driving other projects and initiatives forward whilst strategically planning for development opportunities. The Council currently hosts 28 EV charge points on the public network around the region.
Following the agreement of the draft site list in December 2021 (Item 7 of the Agenda for the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee (2nd December 2021), the Council agreed a list of future EVC site following public consultation at the December 2022 Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee (Item 6).
Past – Present - Future of Electric Vehicle Charging in Argyll and Bute
The Council is committed to expanding its electric vehicle charging network, to date we have:
- secured over £700,000 of Scottish Government funding to install 28 electric vehicle charging points across the region
- installed a mixed infrastructure provision; fast and rapid chargers in our towns and villages
The development of an Electric Vehicle Strategy is also underway:
- Part One provides the background as to why the Council has set out a long term plan for Electric Vehicle Chargers, how it will tie into wider National Policies and the Cost Recovery Model -
Read Part One of the Electric Vehicle Strategy - Cost recovery model here
- Part Two focus on future asset development criteria, with an aim to create various consolidated long lists of potential sites and mid-range cost estimates.
- Part Three will give consideration to future funding requirements and options – mapping, application, management – to deliver on the outline programme developed through Part Two.
- Part Four will cover management and maintenance of the developing network over time, with a focus on sustainable asset management.
- Part Five will provide a procurement and installation strategy, with a focus on best value in the delivery process, including electricity tariff applications and ongoing monitoring etc.
How to access the network and fees
We have a network of 28 chargers across Argyll and Bute, charge points are displayed on the Charge Place Scotland live map . Drivers can access charge points by using a Charge Place Scotland RFID access card, via the Charge Place Scotland smartphone app or via the webpay link – http://webpay.chargeplacescotland.org, full details can be found at Accessing the network - Charge Place Scotland
Charge Place Scotland is Scotland’s National Electric Vehicle (EV) charging network. Owned and developed by the Scottish Government, it has been developed by providing grant funding to Local Authorities and other organisations to install charge points across Scotland from Shetland to the Scottish borders.
Q. How much does it cost to charge with Argyll and Bute Council?
A. The 2022/23 tariff come into effect on 1st May 2022:
- kWh - £0.26
- Minimum charge - £1.80
Q. Do parking fees apply while I am using charge points
A. Not at this time
Q. What penalties may apply if I don’t use EV charging bays correctly?
A. There are penalties for both electric vehicles and non-electric vehicles if EV charging bays are not used appropriately:
Local Penalty Charge for non EVs
£60.00 fixed penalty reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.
Local Penalty Charge for EVs
Same as above
Overstay Penalty Charge Notice – applied to CPS account
Maximum stay times apply for some charger types, and overstay penalties apply if you are over the maximum stay time:
- 7kw- No maximum stay
- 22kw – 4 hours maximum stay
- 50kw - 2 hours maximum stay
It is important to remember that charging times will vary depending on the vehicles on board convertor capability, capacity of the charger used, the size of a vehicle’s battery and the amount of charge your battery has upon arrival at the charging point. The maximum stay periods apply regardless of these factors, and users should select the charger type which best meets their needs at the time of use.
While we try to accommodate as many EV users as possible, we cannot cater to every make and model of EV and therefore have set maximum timescales to allow for optimum use of the chargers by as many users as possible.
Q. What charge type is available?
A. Different charge types are available in the following areas:
Q. When will I be charged for my charging sessions and any additional payments?
A. For any charging sessions and additional payments you are required to pay, payment will be taken from your account on the first of each month if the balance of your account is over £5 or on a quarterly basis if the balance of your account is below £5. Full information on how to use your ChargePlace Scotland account and invoicing can be found on its website.
Q. If I incur a fine while charging my vehicle, do I pay this to ChargePlace Scotland?
A. If you incur an overstay penalty while charging your vehicle, this will be added to the invoice for your Charge Place Scotland account. If you wish to appeal an overstay penalty you should email DISPerformanceHQ@argyll-bute.gov.uk. Any parking fines will be enforced by Argyll and Bute Council and paid directly to us.
Q. What should I do if I have a question about my ChargePlace Scotland invoice?
A. If you have a question about your Charge Place Scotland invoice, use the Enquire about the network - Charge Place Scotland form and provide as many details as possible to help their investigation.
Q. How can I report a faulty or vandalised charger?
A. All of the council's charge points are connected to Charge Place Scotland network. Charge Place Scotland monitor the condition of these charge points daily and arrange for repairs or maintenance as required. They can be contacted through the Report a fault - Charge Place Scotland or by phone on 0141 648 0750.
What type of chargers are available?
The council offers a variety of charging types designed to meet the different needs of users. The table below provides a quick guide:
Approximate Charge Duration
7 - 10hrs
You have a longer stay planned and you don't require a quick charge or when you just require a top-up. This slower charge is also kinder on your battery.
You have a short stay and require a substantial charge
90mins - 2 hour
You require a quick top up to allow you to continue a journey or to get you to your destination.
The Council does not provide funding for installations of electric vehicle chargers to community groups or private individuals. We can't accommodate the individual needs of EV owners therefore we try and ensure a good geographic coverage of charge points.
You may find it helpful to visit the following sites as grants are available for electric vehicle users to receive funding from to install a home charger for their plug-in vehicle.
- Office for Low Emissions Vehicles - Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme
- Energy Saving Trust Scotland is an independent organisation who provide information for electric vehicle users and possible funding streams
Planning and Building Control
There are planning and building control requirements that have to be met before you can install an electric charger, here you will find information and advice on them.
Q. What are the requirement for Planning Permission for EV Charge Points?
A. The installation of EV Charge Points falls within the definition of “development” and will consequently require planning permission. However, the existence of ‘Permitted Development Rights’ (as set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992 (as amended) ( or otherwise referred to as ‘the GPDO’) does mean that it is not always necessary to apply to the Council for planning permission provided that certain conditions are met. In situations not covered by ‘Permitted Development Rights’ it will be necessary to apply to the Council for planning permission for the development. For information on permitted development visit Permitted development (argyll-bute.gov.uk)
Q. What do I need to know when installing an EV Charge Points for Domestic Use?
A. Class 2B of ‘the GPDO’ would permit an EV Charge Point to be attached to a dwellinghouse for use by the occupants of that property. Class 4A of ‘the GPDO’ would permit an EV Charge Point to be attached to a flatted premises for use by the occupants of that property. In either case the unit would require to be contained within the curtilage boundary of the property (i.e. the title boundary) and not protrude more than 1 metre from the outer surface of the external wall of the dwellinghouse/dwelling.
Q. Are there exclusions to the use of ‘permitted development rights?’
A. Both class 2B and 4A are subject to limitations requiring development within the curtilage of a listed building, or within a conservation area designation to be subject of an application for express planning permission. Please be aware that where it is proposed to attach the unit to a building that is listed, then separate Listed Building Consent will also be required.
Q. What do I need to know when installing an EV Charge Points within Off Street Car Parking Areas?
A. Wall-mounted Installation: Class 9E of ‘the GDPO’ provides deemed planning permission for the installation, alteration or replacement of a wall mounted EV charge point within an area that is lawfully used for off-street parking (i.e. a public or private car park) where the unit is less than 0.5 cubic metres in volume (including its casing), and it is located more than 2 metres from any road which it faces onto. Please be aware that where it is proposed to attach the unit to a building that is listed, then separate Listed Building Consent will still be required.
A. Free Standing Installation: Class 9F of ‘the GPDO’ provides deemed planning permission for the installation, alteration or replacement of a freestanding EV charging point within an area that is lawfully used for off-street parking (i.e. a public or private car park) where the unit does not exceed 1.6m in height above ground level, is more than 2 metres from a road, and does not exceed more than 1 unit per defined parking space.
A. Conditions: Both class 9E and 9F are subject to conditions that imposes limitations on the display of information on the installed units to a maximum of 2no. nameplates with a maximum length of 70cm installed on opposite sides of the unit, and with no method of illumination being permissible. Development that does not comply with these conditions will require to be subject of an application for express planning permission.
A. Exclusions to the use of ‘permitted development rights’: Both class 9E and 9F are subject to limitations requiring development within sensitive designations including sites of archaeological interest, national scenic areas, historic gardens and designed landscapes, historic battlefields, conservation areas, National Parks, or World Heritage Sites to be the subject of an application for express planning permission.
Additionally for any class of ‘permitted development’ located within a ‘European’ nature conservation designation (i.e. Special Protection Areas or Special Areas of Conservation) there are also subject to additional safeguards that require developers to obtain advance written authorisation from both the planning authority and Nature.Scot prior to utilising ‘permitted development rights’.
Q. When will I need to apply for a building warrant?
A. Where an EVCP does not form part of a ‘building’ or its power supply is not provided from a ‘building’, no building warrant is required. Where an EVCP forms part of a ‘building’ or its power supply is provided from a ‘building’ then the requirement for warrant would be considered in line with the Guidance on Electrical work not requiring a warrant (domestic and non-domestic). The work activity would be considered as a ‘new power socket outlet’ with the requirement for warrant dependent on the type/height of building. The LABSS position seeks to cover the majority of common installation arrangements but may not cover all scenarios, in which case the verifier will require to make a bespoke assessment of the requirement for warrant depending on the particular circumstances of such a case. Note – Installers should ensure that any fixture will not obstruct/constrict access on a pedestrian route or cause a hazard when in use. See the guidance documentation below for further reference points.
Further Planning Guidance:
It is advised that Argyll and Bute Council offers a chargeable pre-application advice service that may be of assistance to prospective developers who require further guidance and confirmation on the requirement for permission, and if this is required, the issues that would require to be taken into consideration when the Council determines the application.
Road Opening Permits
Another consideration when thinking about installing an electric vehicle chargers whether a Road Opening Permit is required or not.
A Road Opening Permit is required as per section 109 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, for anyone other than an Undertaker, (e.g. Scottish Gas, Scottish Water or BT), who requires to open up the public road or verge to carry out works, (e.g. footway and kerb work for driveway and road connections for housing developments).
For more information on Road Opening Permits, how to apply and fees that apply visit Road Opening Permit (argyll-bute.gov.uk)
A basic guide to the process of installing an EVC including grid connection
This section explains the process for installing residential and commercial chargers.
If you are considering installing an electric vehicle charger at home you have to consider these key points:
Electrical wiring - your home wiring will need to be checked by an approved electrical contractor to make sure that it is suitable to support the extra power required to charge an electric vehicle. Some older properties may not have sufficient wiring to support an EV charging point.
Housing type - this will have an impact on how to you can park, and therefore what options you have to charge your EV. Living in a semi or detached house with parking adjacent or near your home is ideal for a charging point. If you live in a terraced house, or high rise building/flat it is unlikely you will be able to connect your charging point to the wiring in your home (under your electricity meter). In these scenarios, you may need to apply for an electricity connection to be able to charge your EV from your parking space (away from your home).
Off-road parking - your charge point will need a power source, therefore parking close to your home or a building with power (i.e. garage) is ideal. If you don’t have parking next to your home or a garage, then we recommend you speak to an approved electrical contractor. EV charging is still possible where you have an allocated car space in a car park, though it is not guaranteed; as securing a power source for your charging point can be complicated. In some cases this may require that you apply for a new connection to the SSEN network.
Renting your home - as a tenant it’s important to understand your rights when it comes to installing a charging point. It is widely recommended that you have the home owner’s permission to install a charging point. If you have this, please note that you will still need to pay for the charging point yourself (unless agreed otherwise with the homeowner). If you are unable to connect your charger to your home wiring (living in terrace or flat) then you will also be liable for the cost of a new connection, to deliver power to your allocated parking space.
What’s the process?
If the charge point is being installed in domestic properties you will need to:
1. Contact an accredited electric vehicle charging point installer to confirm if your home electricity supply is able to support a charging point. If they confirm that the equipment that joins your home to the electricity network (your ‘cut out’) can support the connection, then you can arrange to have the charging point installed. If you need an upgrade, your installer can contact SSEN for a quote.
2. Your appointed electric vehicle charging point installer installs your chosen charge point
Commercial and public charging
This section explains the step by step process for installing commercial or public chargers.
- Decide number, size and type of charge points, decide where you want to connect them on your site. If you don’t already have a supply where you are looking to connect your charge points, you will need to apply for a new demand connection. If you already have a supply where you want to connect your charge points, you may need to apply for an increase in load.
You should also note that if your site is on an industrial or business park where you share the electrical load with other companies, you may have legal agreements in place based on how much electricity your office uses. If this is the case you will need to check these documents to see if they will impact on your plans. For more advice we would recommend you contact an electrical contractor and if relevant, a legal representative. Also you may also need to consider whether the land owner will need to be contacted to provide permission for the charging points to be connected. The electricity cables that we install to power your charging points may cross land owned by different landowners. We need legal agreements (i.e. wayleaves or easements) with landowners to allow us to maintain those cables after they have been installed
- Register and apply using the ENA form creating tomorrow’s networks – Energy Networks Association (ENA) and send to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Once SSEN complete the network studies and provide a connection offer, you can accept the offer and pay for the connection. You can choose who you wish to undertake the works. Find out more on their website: www.ssen.co.uk/ConnectionsYouHaveaChoice/
- Appoint an approved electrical contractor to install the charge point(s)
- Appoint an electricity supplier who will bill for the energy used by the charge point. Your supplier will appoint a meter operator to install a meter for the charge point.
- SSEN will deliver your connection and energise the charge point. If your request was for an increase in load, SSEN will also provide a new connection agreement based on your new load
Another source of information is the GOV.UK Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme: Installer Guidance which can be found at Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme: installer guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Argyll and Bute Council had previously leased this car park from Luss Estates. That lease has now terminated and the car park has transferred back to owners Luss Estates, and as such is under their management rules and fee arrangements which are:
- £1.20 per hour applicable to all users
- Tariffs apply 24hrs/ 7 days
Parking fee is payable on exit on the site by card, phone or paybyphone app.
The Electric Vehicle Charger located within the car park remains under the management of Argyll and Bute Council and is effectively nested with the Luss Estates car park, and Luss Estates are kindly allowing us to continue to provide this service at this location until we are able to relocate the charger to a Council-owned site elsewhere.
We acknowledge this is far from ideal and we are working to find a better solution. Argyll and Bute Council apologise for any inconvenience