Electric vehicle charging points are to be installed across Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire after the Councils won grant funding from Transport Scotland. Charging points are to be installed in publicly accessible locations as part of a UK-wide initiative called Plugged in Places.
Aberdeen has been identified as a strategic hub in Scotland’s Plugged in Places project and the £120,000 allocated funding will cover the cost of procurement and installation of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure. At least six charging points are to be installed within the city.
Three types of charging points will be provided: rapid chargers which are capable of recharging a vehicle in about 20 minutes; fast chargers which can recharge a vehicle in two to three hours; and standard chargers which recharge a vehicle in about six hours. They will be used to help motorists prepare for local trips and longer journeys across the country and will be run on a ‘pay as you go’ basis.
Council leader and convener of Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure, Barney Crockett, said: “This is great news for Aberdeen. The provision of electric vehicle charging points at key locations adds another green string to our bow and is a key element of making Aberdeen the Smarter City.
“We are already taking the environmental lead on transport issues. We’re making great strides with our ambitious hydrogen bus project and will soon have the largest fleet of hydrogen buses in any European City. Aberdeen’s car club, which has aspirations to buy electric vehicles for members’ use, is one of the fastest growing in the UK. “
“Aberdeen City Council is determined to define the image of an international 21st century energy city and to lead a leaner, cleaner industrial revolution. By installing these charging points, we are playing a very important part in making electric vehicles a more realistic option for city motorists and for those who want to travel into and through Aberdeen.”
Sites for the charging points are being investigated, in consultation with the local branch of the Electric Vehicle Association Scotland and Scottish and Southern Energy. A report detailing proposed locations will be reported to councillors later this year.
Initial investigations show that busy locations where a large number of people can access the chargers with a quick turnover, or close to strategic road networks where they can provide a quick top-ups for long-distance travellers, would be the most suitable for rapid chargers. Car parks where people are likely to park for up to three hours are likely to be the most appropriate places to site the fast chargers, while the standard chargers appear to be best suited to long stay car parks.
It is anticipated that the charging units will be available in mid-Spring. Each point will have a dual socket and able to power up two vehicles at once.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Transportation, Ewan Wallace, said: “We are working hard to develop the infrastructure required for low carbon vehicles in order to make the transportation more attractive to prospective users.”
“We have received funding from Transport Scotland for the installation of an electric vehicle charging point in Laurencekirk, and we expect this to be installed by the end of June. We have also been asked by Transport Scotland to investigate the possibility of installing charging points in Peterhead, Banff/Macduff and Huntly areas, and we are beginning to look at these possibilities.”
“The plans to install charging points at car parks across Aberdeenshire continue to progress and are subject to the replacement of some pay-and-display ticket machines, that are scheduled to take place by this April. Once these machines have been replaced, we can make plans to provide the new electric vehicle charging facilities in Banchory, Banff, Ellon, Fraserburgh, Huntly, Inverurie, Peterhead, Stonehaven and Turriff.”
“The move towards electric transportation will reduce carbon emissions and it is important we continue to investigate the infrastructure which will allow electric transportation to be a more feasible alternative.”
Plugged in Places, which seeks to implement the UK’s first electric vehicle charging infrastructure is funded by the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). Scotland is one of eight project areas across the UK and Transport Scotland is responsible for managing the Scottish project.