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Electric vehicle charging tariffs to be introduced in East and South Ayrshire from 1 April

In response to recent increases in energy costs and the need to expand the charging network, East and South Ayrshire Councils will be introducing tariffs and overstay charges for the use of public electric vehicle (EV) charging points in East Ayrshire from 1 April.  

The Ayrshire Roads Alliance has been responsible for installing and operating charging points since 2015. There are currently 67 points in 35 locations across East Ayrshire and 36 charging points in 25 locations across South Ayrshire, increased demand for these has resulted in high running costs to both East and South Ayrshire Councils’.

According to a report by Scottish Futures Trust, the purchasing of EVs is becoming a more mature market, and it suggests that a market rate should now be introduced to maintain and expand a high quality customer-focused network across the whole of Scotland. This expansion will be required to meet the Scottish Government’s target of phasing out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2035.

In order to deliver the thousands of additional EV charging points necessary over the next five to ten years, it is estimated that £300m to £400m of new investment will be required, and most of this will need to come from the private sector. The current free or below cost EV charging by local authorities is, however, deterring this private sector investment.

Along with the fact that electricity supply costs are set to rise further in 2024/25, this means that a new tariff is being introduced to cover electricity costs and the maintenance and replacement of faulty units.

Starting from 1 April 2024, the charging tariff will be set at:

  • Fast/AC (7kW): £0.31 per kWh
  • Fast/AC (22kW): £0.31per kWh
  • Rapid/DC (50kW): £0.37 per kWh

An overstay charge will also be introduced to ensure that service users choose the appropriate charger capacity for the duration that their vehicle will be parked. This will also help to reduce congestion on rapid chargers. The overstay charges will be:

  • Fast/AC: £30 after the first 5 hours plus 10 minutes grace between 8am and 10pm
  • Rapid/DC: £30 after the first hour plus 10 minutes grace between 8am and 10pm

There will also be a minimum spend of £5 at charging points to ensure that EV charger service users only access the charge facility to draw a minimum of 18kWh of electricity when they do need to charge.

The East Ayrshire tariff is lower than the average local authority rate of £0.50 for a rapid charging station, although this figure fluctuates across local authority areas.

When the tariff charging begins, members of the public will continue to use their Chargeplace Scotland card to access the charger network with the bank details assigned to their card being debited by SWARCO for the amount of the EV charge delivered to their vehicle.   

Councillor Jim McMahon, Cabinet Member for Housing, Transport and Communities, said: “It’s great to see that the demand for electric vehicles is on the rise and that so many car owners are making the shift to electric. However, providing free EV charging is no longer financially viable for the Council and it’s also preventing private sector investment. This investment is needed if we are to expand the charging network and ultimately achieve our goal of reducing transport emissions and reaching the Council’s net zero target.

“By introducing the tariffs, we can recover the cost of energy, ensure effective maintenance of the points for our residents and visitors, and help to reduce congestion at our busier charging points.”