A pioneering plan to introduce a citywide network of electric vehicle charging points is being considered by Edinburgh councilors.
The City of Edinburgh Council and Transport Scotland claim that Edinburgh is the first city in the UK to put forward such an ambitious and comprehensive Electric Vehicle Infrastructure business case, which was prepared for them by the Energy Savings Trust.
The EST has proposed that, by 2023, Edinburgh will need to install 211 new charging points at a cost of £3.4 million. Most of these charging points will be “fast chargers” for
on-street residential charging, although there will also be some charging facilities for taxis and at park and ride sites.
“Edinburgh is in the vanguard of a nationwide drive to improve the infrastructure, and this business case will help us make great strides towards a greener, healthier capital,” Transport Convener Councilor Lesley Macinnes said. “Electric vehicles are only part of the solution to worsening air quality, however, alongside the other key elements of our wider sustainable transport agenda such as promoting use of public transport and active travel like walking and cycling.”
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure & Connectivity, Michael Matheson, added: “I welcome the City of Edinburgh Council’s innovative plans to intensify the availability of electric vehicle charge points across our capital.
“The number of ultra-low emission cars newly registered in Scotland has increased by 64% over the past year compared to 38% in the same period in the rest of the UK. This is a positive step which responds to the uptake in electric vehicles and supports our commitment to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.”
The business case follows the zonal approach set out in the Council's Electric Vehicle Action Plan, which would see infrastructure installed in three charging zones: Zone 1 (city centre), Zone 2 (residential areas) and Zone 3 (peripheral – eg, Park & Ride sites). Some 68 locations hosting multiple charging points have been identified across the city, creating strategic charging hubs for users. The predicted environmental benefits for the city include carbon savings of 7,715 tonnes and savings in nitrogen dioxide of over 14 tonnes by 2023. The Council has applied to Transport Scotland’s Switched On Towns & Cities fund for £2 million towards upgrading electric vehicle infrastructure in Edinburgh. If the business case is approved, a work programme will be developed to detail the final list of locations, costs, timelines and associated works including liaison with Scottish Power as the network provider. This will also detail the delivery model and management of the project. A six-week consultation period is proposed with a range of stakeholders, to help select charging locations from the list of sites identified as suitable.