The council’s overall strategy involves providing 211 on-street charging points by 2023. A total of 68 locations hosting multiple charging points will be identified across the city – creating strategic charging hubs for users. The predicted environmental benefits of rolling out the infrastructure by the council is a carbon saving of 7,715 tonnes and savings in nitrogen dioxide of more than 14 tonnes.
The first 14 hubs will be scattered across the city, with 66 on-street charging points available at 14 locations – with the first ready to be used in January 2020. The council has been awarded £2.2m from the Scottish Government to support the project after a successful funding bid.
Transport and environment convener, Cllr Lesley Macinnes, said: “I’m pleased to see this report moving forward. There’s an emerging need for electric vehicle infrastructure to serve into the city and encourage people to look seriously about this mode of transport instead of petrol and diesel cars.
“As a council we have done a lot of in depth work to bring this forward and I’m pleased to have secured funding form the Scottish Government.”
The initial hubs will be installed at India Street/Circus Gardens, Fettes Avenue, East London Street, Ingliston park and ride, Heriot Row, Kings Road, Sheriff Brae and Comely Bank Avenue. Other initial hubs will be provided at Montgomery Street, Thirlestane Rd, Stewart Terrace, Maxwell Street, Ingliston park and ride and Hermiston park and ride.
The council will investigate whether or not to press ahead with different connection charges for taxis and cars after fears it “might act as a deterrent to users”, despite the “likely impact of removing the charge will be a drop in revenue”.
Cllr Macinnes accepted an addition to the agreements by Conservative Cllr Nick Cook, recognising that “future charging point expansion should afford priority to high density suburban residential areas with limited off street parking provision”.
Cllr Cook said: “I welcome that the council is moving forward with it’s electric vehicle plan, however remain concerned that the citing of the initial phase of charging points fails to give suburban Edinburgh residents realistic opportunity to switch to an electric vehicle.
“I am therefore pleased that, in a rare occurrence, committee has agreed my calls to ensure that the next phase of charging point installation affords priority to highly populated suburban areas where car ownership is highest.”
The council has consulted with Scottish Power about the proposals and the company has told the authority that in general, the initial hub locations “have local connections available” although “there will need to be some upgrades required in certain areas”. Following consultation with the council’s parking team, a “preference for end-on parking spaces” has emerged, where possible.
Green transport spokesperson, Cllr Chas Booth, said: ““This is a significant step forward for cutting tailpipe emissions and improving air quality in Edinburgh.
“Electric vehicles are an important part of the solution to the city’s air quality crisis, alongside investment in walking and cycling infrastructure and high-quality public transport.“
Join our Facebook group Our Edinburgh to share images and news from and around the Capital