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Highland Council to introduce electric vehicle charge point fees

By Philip Murray

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Charges are to be introduced for public EV charge points operated by Highland Council.
Charges are to be introduced for public EV charge points operated by Highland Council.

FEES will be introduced on all Highland Council-run electric vehicle charging points from next month.

The council has confirmed the introduction of tariffs from June 1, after councillors on the economy and infrastructure committee voted in favour of the move.

The change came amid reports that the growing popularity of the charge points was leaving the council with a rising electricity bill. In 2020 alone, the charge points cost the council more than £50,000 in electricity bills – and the report before councillors warned that this could double by the end of 2021 as more motorists embrace electric vehicle (EV) technology.

The tariff will be 30p per kWh for journey chargers (43kW+) and 20p per kWh for destination chargers (22kw or less).

A minimum charge of £1 will apply to all charging sessions as will a 30 minute no return period. In the case of journey chargers, an overstay charge of £1 per minute would be applied after 45 minutes (plus a 15 minute grace period). The usual Traffic Regulation Orders will also apply with the misuse of EV bays being enforced.

A council spokesman said: "The tariff introduction is intended to recover costs associated with the operation and upkeep of the network, transitioning the council to a more sustainable operating model.

"The number of EVs on the roads has doubled in the last year, therefore the risk in electricity supply will be upwards of those numbers without a tariff in place.

"The approach taken is fully endorsed by the Electric Vehicle Association Scotland and is designed to enable the council to support and maintain the service offered, but also encourage best practice amongst users at charge points, facilitating all journeys."

Chairwoman of the economy and infrastructure committee, Cllr Trish Robertson, added: “The introduction of a charging tariff will alleviate the pressure on revenue and bring Highland Council into line with the charging policy of other Scottish Local Authorities.

"It will also promote equality and allow us to explore sustainable transport solutions on the way to complete decarbonisation of transport by 2045”.

The council added that regular reviews will be undertaken to assess usage profiles, operating costs and electricity consumption to "ensure the model in place remains fair, simple and sustainable".

Related news: Electric car charging woes spark call for Highland Council to install more stations in Inverness

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