Fife Council have announced their tariff for charging, applicable from April.
The Association acknowledges and welcomes the end of free charging as essential to the process of developing a true picture of the use profile and requirements for public infrastructure.
Our position on connection fees is that they are not a suitable option and will result in poorer utilisation and unhelpful behaviours on the charge points. Critically this will reduce the revenue available to maintain and organically grow the network. This will have a direct impact on the ability to support and grow the network.
Here, the connection fee includes a sum representing the local car parking fee, with car parking while charging is free. This seems contradictory and no clarity is offered on how this would apply in free car parks. This charge needs to be clearly indicated to the user, but will directly encourage slower turnover at the charge points as users seek to minimise their apparent cost per kilowatt-hour. It will also result in users choosing not to take a brief charge to ensure their return home, as the cost per kWh will be prohibitive. This is particularly inequitable for owners of older or smaller battery vehicles, effectively punitive toward less affluent drivers.
This structure will be reviewed by the council, so we would encourage members in Fife to contact their local representatives to make their position known.
Positively, the council has taken the position that EV Charging Bays are not Parking Bays, something that we support wholeheartedly and would encourage all Charge Point Owners to adopt.
We have previously submitted our position to Transport Scotland that for the new ChargePlace Scotland Contract, no transaction fee should be applied to any charging session.
Our Tariff Guidance offers a structure to allow for a revenue stream that will permit any Charge Point Owner (CPO) to maximise turnover on their assets, allowing for maximum utilisation of the asset. This serves not only the CPO but also EV drivers, by offering a mechanism to reduce ‘hogging’ of charge points. The Council have been provided with a copy of this document.
At our recent appearance before the Energy, Economy and Fair Work Committee, two of the point highlighted were the need to enable Local Authorities in maintaining a dedicated EV team within their revenue budget, as well as the need for a largely universal tariff across all areas. This last we would recognise as something that the market will evolve to naturally, but there is an opportunity to accelerate the process.