Electric vehicles

Electric Vehicle Information

Information on Fees and Overstay Penalties >

In 2017 the Scottish Government set out its ambition to reduce Scotland’s emissions of greenhouse gasses and to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.  Argyll and Bute Council is committed to supporting this national ambition as part of its own strategy to reduce the impact of climate change. One action is to provide a sustainable network of publicly available EV chargers.

The Scottish Government, via Transport Scotland, allocated funding for local authorities to invest in the Electric Vehicle (EV) Charger infrastructure.  Through this EV users have been able to charge their vehicles free of charge - a policy decision taken by Scottish Government to encourage the uptake of the technology to support targets for the reduction of carbon emissions and combat climate change. It was a condition of the grants from Transport Scotland to make charging sites free and publicly accessible. The additional costs, such as the electricity used, have been covered by Argyll and Bute Council. 

This was a suitable short-term approach. Now, with the increasing popularity of electric cars, and the continued reduction in local government funding, the council agreed at its budget meeting of February 2020: Reflecting Transport Scotland advice, agrees that a charging regime should be developed for all Electric Vehicle Charging Points with charging for 2020/21 to be on the basis of electricity consumption cost recovery and a report on the long-term approach to come to the September 2020 meeting of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee.

Fees that cover the cost of the electricity, maintenance and admin will be introduced on EV charging points from 9 April 2021.

Frequently asked questions

Where are the council chargers?

A full list can be found at www.chargeplacescotland.org . The live map can be used to locate and navigate to charge points on the CPS network. This also provides details about the location, type status and availability of each unit.

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:

Charge Type

Approximate Charge Duration


7kW (slow)

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.

22kW (fast)


You have a short stay and require a substantial charge

50kW (rapid)

90mins - 2 hour

You require a quick top up to allow you to continue a journey or to get you to your destination.

What is the ChargePlace Scotland network?

ChargePlace 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. The network has grown from 55 public charge points in 2013 to over 1,000 in 2020.

How do I access charge points on the ChargePlace Scotland network?

To access the network and start charging your EV, simply register for a ChargePlace Scotland account and order an access card. Once your access card arrives, you can then use it to charge your EV at any charge point displayed on our live map.

What is the cost to access charge points on the ChargePlace Scotland network?

To use charge points on the ChargePlace Scotland network, you need to first order an access card. This costs £20 per card every year. We always recommend checking our live map before starting a charging session as this displays the cost of charging for all charge points on our network.

How much does it cost to charge with Argyll and Bute Council?

Since 2017 charging your EV has been free of charge, this will change on the 9 April 2021.  These will be the new tariffs:

  • kWh - £0.25
  • Minimum charge - £1.80

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:

Penalty typeCharge

Local Penalty Charge for non EVs
-if non EV car parked in charging bay penalty applies

£60.00 fixed penalty reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.
If paid after 28 days the fine increases to £90

Local Penalty Charge for EVs
- EVs must be plugged into charger and not just using a bay for parking

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:

  • Slow (7kw) - No maximum stay
  • Fast (22kw) - 4 hours maximum stay
  • Rapid (50kw) - 2 hours maximum stay

What payment methods can I use on the ChargePlace Scotland network?

To access the ChargePlace Scotland network, you must set up a direct debit. ChargePlace Scotland uses the secure payment provider, GoCardless. This requires your sort code and bank account number.

How do I log in to my ChargePlace Scotland account?

To log in to your ChargePlace Scotland account, visit its website, then click the “Sign in” link in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Enter your email address and password to proceed.

When will I be charged for my charging sessions and any additional payments?

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.

What should I do if I have a question about my ChargePlace Scotland invoice?

If you have a question about your ChargePlace Scotland invoice, use its contact form and provide as many details as possible to help their investigation.

If I incur a fine while charging my vehicle, do I pay this to ChargePlace Scotland?

If you incur an overstay fee while charging your vehicle, this will be added to the invoice for your ChargePlace Scotland account. Any parking fines will be enforced by Argyll and Bute Council and paid directly to us.

How many publicly installed electric vehicle charging points have been installed in each of the last five financial years?

  • 2015/16 - 9 installs
  • 2016/17 - 3 installs
  • 2017/18 - 3 installs
  • 2018/19 - 9 installs
  • 2019/20 - 4 installs

What is the total number of publicly installed electric vehicle charging points across the local authority to date?

There are 28 across the authority

What is the council’s plans for future charger installations?

Argyll and Bute Council are in the process of developing a long term Electric Vehicle Strategy, the first stage was implemented from 9th April 2021, now the cost recovery model is in place and fully operational our attention will turn to moving forward with the other parts of the strategy which will include:

  • potential future installations and location criteria for both council and public use which will be done with member and public consultation
  • procurement
  • project management
  • enforcement
  • maintenance
  • future funding streams
  • council vehicle replacement strategy

Do parking fees apply while I am using charge points

Not at this time

How can I report a faulty or vandalised charger?

A. All of the council's charge points are connected to Transport Scotland's Charge Place Scotland (CPS) network. CPS monitor the condition of these charge points daily and arrange for repairs or maintenance as required.  They can be contacted through the wCharge Place Scotland website, by email at admin@chargeplacescotland.org, or by phone on 0141 648 0750.

Is there a difference between full EVs and Hybrids?

Consider the type of vehicle you have, is it full EV or hybrid?

The rate of charge of plug-in hybrid vehicles is dictated by the vehicle, rather than the charger and, for most of these, the rate is less that that provided by a 'slow' 7kW charger. Therefore, even if a hybrid connects to a 'Rapid' 50kW charger, it will not charge any quicker. By their nature, 'Rapid' chargers are used for quick top-up charges part-way through a journey.

There is only one location in the council's network where there is a Rapid charger without an accompanying 'fast' unit. As there is usually another option for hybrid vehicles and we’d urge owners of hybrid vehicles to try and avoid using the Rapid charger. Although we wouldn’t encourage it, hybrid vehicles will still operate without a charge, whereas full EVs will not.

I have a driveway, can I get a grant for a charger?

Yes, Grants are available from the Energy Savings Trust (EST). More information is available on the Energy Savings Trust website

Can I get a charger in my street?

A. We can't accommodate the individual needs of EV owners therefore we try and ensure a good geographic coverage of charge points.  To date, the council has deployed 28 charge points across the region and a full list of publically available charge points, as well as those offered by the council, can be found here: www.chargeplacescotland.org