East Lothian Electric Vehicle chargers to be more expensive than buying petrol

Wednesday June 7th 2023

Electric Vehicle EV Charger North Berwick

North Berwick has the most used electric car charger in East Lothian.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

New increased fees for charging electric cars in East Lothian will make it more expensive than buying petrol at some of its plug in spots.

The county’s huge network of nearly 100 public chargers means the area has one of the highest levels of electric chargers in Scotland.

East Lothian Council will raise the cost of using its public chargers from July 1 with costs per unit ranging from 45p to 80p during peak hours compared to the current cost of 25p to 50p per unit.

A report to elected members said that off peak rates will remain 20% lower than peak rates in a bid to encourage drivers to charge at quieter times.

However it acknowledged that even with the reduction, off peak charges to use one of its High Power Journey chargers would be 65p – more expensive than petrol.

The report said: “For comparison, the RAC estimates that, converted to comparable pence per kWh, rates are £0.60 for petrol and £0.70 for diesel.

“Our most expensive off-peak rate is still therefore cheaper than diesel and only 5p more expensive than petrol per kWh.

“Drivers can fill their vehicles for less if they choose to use our On-Street and Destination chargers which offer prices of nearly half that of petrol and diesel.

“The savings drivers can make in their carbon emissions and impact on air quality are also significant.”

Officers said the rise in charges would cover the increased cost of electricity as well as influencing drivers behaviour with peak charges between 4pm and 8pm.

The report said: “When vehicles are charged rapidly or at peak times at a national level then carbon intense gas or nuclear sources of power may be called in – something which East Lothian Council should avoid exacerbating.

“Peak/off-peak pricing helps drivers to understand that even though Battery Electric Vehicles have zero tail-pipe emissions, the energy they use to recharge may include embedded carbon which they can control via their choice of charging times.”

On-street chargers will cost 45p per kWh and 35p off peak to use, compared to current costs of 35p per kWh and 25p off peak with Destination chargers seeing their blanket rate of 25p per kWh rise to 45p on peak and 35p off peak.

Journey chargers which are limited to 45-minutes use only will increase fees from 40p per kWh at all times to 75p on peak and 60p off peak.

High Power Journey chargers will replace their 50p per kWh rate at all times to 80p on peak and 65p off peak.

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