On the 4 October Edinburgh City Council’s Transport and Environment Committee approved a business case to improve electric vehicle infrastructure in the city. 

The business case developed for the city council by the Energy Saving Trust (EST), suggests that the city will need to install 211 charging points by 2023 at a cost of £3.3 million, in order to meet future demand for charging facilities. The points would include 111 fast chargers, 23 rapid chargers and 77 slow chargers.

A total of 68 locations have also been identified across the city to host multiple charging points to create ‘strategic charging hubs’ for users.

The running costs of the infrastructure will be £0.87m however, the council hopes to generate an estimated £1.3m a year from motorists paying to charge their vehicles. The business case suggests a 20p per kWh fee for all users along with a 30p connection fee for residents and business, £1 for taxis and private hire cars and £2 at park and ride sites.

The predicted environmental benefits are that 7,714 tonnes of carbon will be saved each year once up and running and 14.2 tonnes of NO2 will be removed from the city.

Latest figures, compiled in 2017, suggest that there are up to 500 electric vehicles currently in use in the city, with the city council predicting that this is likely to increase significantly to around 10,000 on the city’s roads by the middle of the 2023. 

Now that the business case is approved, a work programme will be developed that will 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.

The council has also applied to Transport Scotland’s Switched On Towns and Cities fund for £2m towards upgrading electric vehicle infrastructure in Edinburgh.

Transport convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “Edinburgh is in the vanguard of a nationwide drive to improve electric vehicle infrastructure and this business case will help us make great strides towards a greener, healthier Capital.

“Electric vehicles are only part of the solution to worsening air quality, however, alongside the other key elements of our wider sustainable transport agenda for the Capital such as promoting use of public transport and active travel like walking and cycling.”