Local knowledge to guide plan for EV chargers

The council is developing its plan for growing its network of electric vehicle charging points as part of it commitment to tackling climate change in Argyll and Bute.

Local members and the public will be consulted on a long list of potential sites for new EV charging points across the area. These can then be installed as and when external funding becomes available.

The Environment, Development and Infrastructure committee agreed to take this approach at Thursday’s meeting.

Argyll and Bute has already benefited from £700,000 of Scottish Government funding, through Transport Scotland, to install EV chargers throughout the area. New fees introduced in April mean that costs for the electricity can now be recovered, making the network sustainable.

HiTRANS which has attracted EU funding of £1.5 million to deliver a network of 24 rapid charging points on the west coast of the Highlands and Island. EV chargers will be installed in Lochaber, Skye and Lochalsh, Argyll and Bute and the Western Isles.

Working with Strathclyde University, the council assisted HiTRANS with mapping future locations for EV chargers and this has included looking at charging demand based upon population density, tourist demand, and national/local EV uptake forecasts.

How drivers use their cars needs to be considered when planning the network. Three themes have been identified:

  • charging on the move: having one rapid charger every 25 – 35 minutes driving time to offer a quick top-up in the middle of a journey
  • destination charging: charging infrastructure where users are likely to leave their cars for an extended period of time as part of existing off-street parking provision
    • residential charging: checking to see if there are any residential areas with a lack of on-street parking which are within council ownership where EV charging could be developed. Future planning policy should reflect the need for residential EV provision.

Councillor Rory Colville, Policy Lead for Roads and Infrastructure Services, said: “We want to reach our own ambitious goals to tackle climate change and support the Scottish Government’s aim to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032. To do this we need infrastructure that integrates with our road network and wider transport links in Argyll and Bute.

“To do this we will use local knowledge, work with others to gain further expertise and secure external funding wherever available to ensure residents, visitors and businesses have access to the services they need.”

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