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Daily Record
Daily Record
Jack Thomson

Renfrewshire drivers to pay for public electric vehicle chargers

Drivers will soon have to pay to use public electric vehicle chargers after rates were given the green light.

The change, which includes the introduction of an overstay fee, is set to come into effect from April.

Renfrewshire Council has 118 public charging spots at the moment but further infrastructure is planned this year.

The move was passed at the recent infrastructure, land and environment policy board. The fees agreed were 36p per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for 7kW and 22kW chargers and 50p per kWh for rapid 50kW units.

An overstay charge of £30 has been set for each type but there will be a 10-minute grace period for vehicle users.

Councillor Chris Gilmour, Labour group spokesperson for infrastructure and environment, told the board: “Obviously this is quite a thorny subject because as soon as you start charging for anything in Renfrewshire people complain.

“But I think you also get on the other side of that, having spoken to local communities, many people lack charging etiquette and park their vehicles there for a longer time than is absolutely necessary.

“While always reticent about charging the public, I appreciate this and agree with it – it’s probably the best solution.”

Councillor Michelle Campbell, SNP board convener, said Councillor Gilmour’s point about some drivers “hogging spaces” was made “very eloquently” as she confirmed she agreed with his comments.

A report presented to the board said around two thirds of Scottish local authorities charge for use of the infrastructure.

Gerard Hannah, the council’s infrastructure, transportation and change manager, said: “The three different types of charger are set out – the 7kW, 22kW and 50kW.

“The 50kW is what you would describe as the rapid charge, so regardless of the age of your electric vehicle generally the rapid charger will give you a full charge within 45 minutes to an hour. The 22kW can be two to three hours and the 7kW is probably five or six hours to get a 75 per cent charge.

“That’s the speed of the chargers and how they work, so that’s reflective of the tariffs that are proposed.

“We would like to see the greater movement in the rapid chargers, hence the higher tariff that’s put in place for that one, because they are the ones where we see issues with people inappropriately using the bays there.”

When asked how the pricing works, Mr Hannah added: “If we can use the example of the 50kW charger, it would cost you roughly £25 to get a full charge on your electric vehicle.

“If you compare that to a full tank of petrol, you can still see there’s obviously a significant difference in the two aspects there.”

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