Fifers turning to electric vehicles will be hit with new public charging fees from November 16.
Members of the region’s economy, tourism, strategic planning and transportation committee approved the introduction of fees to use Fife Council’s public electric vehicle (EV) charging points in January but the levy was put on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the local authority has now confirmed it will introduce the fees from mid-November so it can maintain the existing network and make it more accessible and financially sustainable.
It will cost 15p per kWh plus a £1.60 connection charge per session, meaning an average cost for electric vehicle users of 4.3p per mile.
That compares with the 11.7p per mile average cost of drivers with a conventional petrol or diesel vehicle which typically runs at 50 mpg.
Committee convener Councillor Altany Craik, said: “There’s a growing acceptance, in this era of severe budget pressures on local authorities, for the need to introduce fees for the EV charging network and move towards a self-sustaining service.
“By investing in the network of charge points we can ensure future growth.
“We also want to give people suitable and convenient access to our charging points so would like to remind users that parking bays with EV charging points are for charging only, not parking and that any non EV or an EV not connected to the charge point will be liable to a Penalty Charge Notice.
“Electric cars continues to offer substantial savings compared to the cost of an equivalent petrol or diesel car.
“We hope that the continued growth of our EV network will accelerate the use of green vehicles and further advance a green revolution.”
Fife’s EV public network of 40-plus units has been funded by the Scottish Government and are mainly at long stay car parks in town centres, and at public transport hubs such as railway stations and Park and Rides.
By the end of 2020, this will increase to 68 public EV sites across the Kingdom.
However, Government grants only cover the installation and initial five-year maintenance costs, meaning the energy, long-term maintenance and replacement costs will soon fall to Fife Council.
Fife’s fees compare well with other council areas, such as Edinburgh Council which charges 20p per kWh and a connection fee of £2.30, and East Lothian Council, which charges 16p to 30p per KWh and levies an overstay charge.