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Green light for pioneering electric vehicle infrastructure plan

Posted: 7th March 2019

An ambitious strategy to install a network of on-street electric vehicle charging ‘hubs’ across the Capital has moved one step forward, following approval by councillors.

Members of the Transport and Environment Committee agreed a detailed project plan for the installation of charging infrastructure on Tuesday (5 March), including selected locations for 66 on-street charging points across 14 hubs.

The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure business case, which recognised the rising popularity of electric vehicles in the city, was given the go-ahead by Committee in October and proposed the implementation of 211 on-street charging points by 2023 at a cost of £3.3m. Improvements to infrastructure are predicted to result in carbon savings of 7,715 tonnes and savings in Nitrogen Dioxide of over 14 tonnes.

A comprehensive project plan for installing the first tranche of chargers by 2020 addresses key components for delivery, such as charger location, a possible enforcement regime and project governance. This will be supported by a £2.2m grant from Transport Scotland.

Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “We are leading the country with our bold, strategic approach to providing on-street electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and I’m delighted that we’re now able to move forward with the first stage of our implementation plan.

“We’ve seen an exponential rise in the popularity of electric vehicles over the last few years, and we want to see this continue. Encouraging drivers to choose environmentally friendly modes of transport over diesel or petrol cars will have a real impact on air quality so it’s essential that we provide the infrastructure to allow this.”

A combination of rapid, fast and slow chargers will be placed strategically around Edinburgh, with project managers liaising closely with parking and planning departments, along with Distribution Network Operator Scottish Power Energy Networks, to ensure a spread of infrastructure serving residents across the city. Locations have also been selected to complement existing Off-street charging sites.

It is intended that charging equipment is located on roads rather than pavements to reduce street clutter and near, but not adjacent to, residential properties, to allow residents to park outside their homes. An enforcement policy is currently under development, to ensure electric vehicle bays, which will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, are not used for unlimited parking and are reserved for electric vehicles.

Prior to the installation phase, which is expected to last from January to December 2020, a new Project Board will be established, supported by the Electric Vehicle Working Group, which will meet regularly to oversee implementation, providing robust governance of the plan.

Download the full report, Electric Vehicle Business Case Implementation Plan, from the Council website.

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