Further expansion of EV chargepoints in county

This year, East Lothian Council has secured over £800,000 to invest in new car chargers to provide flexible charging solutions for people without a driveway or a safe place to charge at home.

East Lothian already has the most chargers per head of population in mainland Scotland and, by the end of 2022, East Lothian Council will have completed its ambition to bring almost all residents in the county within a short walking distance of a suitable place to charge their car within a robust, reliable and decentralised charger network.

The bulk of the funds have been secured from the UK’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) On-Street Residential Chargepoint Fund with the balance being made up by Transport Scotland’s On-Street Residential Chargepoint Top-Up fund. This means that the additional chargepoints are being installed at no cost to East Lothian Council.

The OZEV grant is the largest award made to a Scottish Local Authority for on-street residential chargers so far, reflecting past successes by East Lothian Council in delivering chargepoints under challenging conditions. A further £95k has been secured from Transport Scotland’s Local Authority Infrastructure Programme which will help the ongoing costs of maintaining the chargers.

Over half of the on-street chargers being installed will have no parking restrictions, and will be in places where parking is at a premium and it is essential to accommodate non-preferential parking of both conventionally-fuelled and electric vehicles.

Environment spokesperson, Cllr Norman Hampshire, said: “East Lothian Council is leading the way in Scotland in providing solutions for flexible charging. This has attracted the Agile Streets programme to the county, now installing chargers which allow EV owners to choose to refuel when the electricity is generated by the cleanest, greenest technology.”

“While East Lothian has the most chargers per head of population in mainland Scotland, and is ranked in 12th place in the rest of UK, there will always be some properties without a safe place to charge at home, and which are too far from the public network for convenience. There will be guidance shared on safer ways to plug in at home, and lessons learned from ongoing trials of cable gullies in other parts of the country.”

“East Lothian Council is continuing to look forward and is now working with partners to investigate future funding models to ensure that the charging network remains fit for purpose for years to come. Private investment is ramping up for on-street chargers and factored parking courtyards, as well as the strategic hubs such as Wallyford Park & Ride. East Lothian is well positioned to make the most of this to give drivers an ever greater range of facilities and options for powering up their vehicles.”

Published: Wednesday, 8th September 2021