Edinburgh Electric Vehicle Proposals Will Boost Infrastructure

Edinburgh Electric Vehicle

The City of Edinburgh Council has announced a “pioneering” electric vehicle infrastructure plan.  

The proposals will be considered by councillors this week and include the introduction of a citywide network of electric vehicle charging points.

Electric vehicle uptake is rising across the UK, while Edinburgh is home to nearly one-quarter of all licensed electric vehicles in Scotland. In 2011, there were only nine electric vehicles in the capital, compared with 489 by June 2017.

Charging points also increased from eight to 89 between 2013 and 2017 – 58 of these charging points are publicly available

The Council said Edinburgh will be the first city in the UK to put forward such an “ambitious and comprehensive” electric vehicle infrastructure business case.

Edinburgh Electric Vehicle Plans

The majority of Edinburgh’s proposed charging points will be “fast chargers” that will enable on-street residential charging. Charging facilities for taxis and at park and ride sites will also be included as part of the initiative.

A total of 68 locations, which are capable of hosting multiple charging points, have been identified across the capital.

The environmental benefits for the city could see carbon savings of more than 7,000 tonnes, as well as 14 tonnes of nitrogen dioxide savings by 2023.

Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said that while the proposals will help make Edinburgh a “greener, healthier Capital”, other solutions to air quality issues must be addressed.

“Edinburgh is in the vanguard of a nationwide drive to improve electric vehicle infrastructure,” she said. “And this business case will help us make great strides towards a greener, healthier Capital.”

Macinnes added: “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 the use of public transport and active travel like walking and cycling.”


Valuable Infrastructure

The City of Edinburgh Council and Transport Scotland commissioned the Energy Savings Trust (EST) to prepare the business case, which will be presented to the Transport and Environment Committee on Thursday 4th October.

The EST suggests that by 2023, Edinburgh will need to install 211 new charging points, which could cost up to £3.4 million. The city is predicted to have nearly 10,000 residential and commercial electric vehicles by this point, however, many of these users will not need access to public infrastructure.

Many could have access to driveways or garages for home charging. The Council has applied to Transport Scotland’s Switched On Towns and Cities fund for £2 million to assist in the upgrades.

The business case follows the Council’s zonal approach, set out in the Electric Vehicle Action Plan, which would see infrastructure installed in three strategic charging zones in the city centre, residential areas and the city’s peripheral areas.

If approved by councillors, a work programme will be developed that will highlight the final list of locations, as well as costs, timelines and associated works – including liaison with Scottish Power as the network provider.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson said he welcome the plans as a “positive step” toward boosting the uptake of electric vehicles in the city.

He said: “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.”

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