Strategy for extending support to electric vehicle usage approved

Published Date: 

3 Dec 2020 - 14:17

The council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee approved a new approach to encourage and support the use of electric vehicles throughout Argyll and Bute.

This will help tackle climate change.

The council will develop its network of electric vehicle charging points. It will seek government funding and introduce fees for the electricity used to make sure that the programme is sustainable.

Over the past four years, the council secured £700,000 of Scottish Government funding to install 24 electric vehicle charging points across the area. This includes Campbeltown, Dunoon, Helensburgh, Lochgilphead, Oban, as well as Islay, Mull and Coll.

Another four EV charging schemes are currently being progressed for Tighnabruaich Car Park, Lochgilphead, Tiree and Coll.

Up until now, the cost of electricity has been absorbed by the council. Developing a policy for recovering costs for the electricity drawn to charge private vehicles will bring Argyll and Bute’s council in line with many other Scottish local authorities.

People rely heavily on private vehicles in rural communities. In the HITRANS area, vehicle ownership is 18% higher, and average distances travelled by road are estimated to be around 20% greater, than the Scottish average.

Investing in EV technology helps people connect in a way that is more climate friendly. It also helps remove barriers to accessing employment, education, leisure activities and essential services.

Councillor Rory Colville, Policy Lead for Roads and Infrastructure Services, said: “Delivering an EV charging network for Argyll and Bute isn’t without challenges. But this is something that is vital for our environment as well as for our economy.

“Greener, more cost efficient fuel has the potential to offer huge benefits to our businesses. Now private and public sectors need to work together to create infrastructure to support our economy and build on our success in securing funding to date. We need to make this sustainable for the long term.”