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Edinburgh to rule on £3.4M electric vehicle plan

electric car infrastructure 3 to 2

City of Edinburgh Council is set to rule on plans to introduce a city-wide network of electric vehicle charging points in a bid to combat air pollution.

A business plan prepared for the city council by the Energy Savings Trust indicates that £3.4M will have to be spent to install 211 new charging points by 2023.

It is predicted that adopting the plans would result in Edinburgh making carbon savings of 7,715t and savings in Nitrogen Dioxide of over 14t by 2023.

Proposals are set to be examined and voted on by councillors on Thursday, with a total of 68 locations hosting multiple charging points identified for use across the city.

If the business case for the charging point network is approved, a work programme will be developed that will outline the final list of locations, costs, timelines and associated works, with Scottish Power as the network provider.

City of Edinburgh Council cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity Michael Matheson said: “The number of ultra-low emission cars newly registered in Scotland has increased by 64% over the past year compared to 38% in the same period in the rest of the UK.

“This is a positive step which responds to the uptake in electric vehicles and supports our commitment to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.”

Transport convener councillor Lesley Macinnes added: “Edinburgh is in the vanguard of a nationwide drive to improve electric vehicle infrastructure and this business case will help us make great strides towards a greener, healthier capital.

“Electric vehicles are only part of the solution to worsening air quality, however, alongside the other key elements of our wider sustainable transport agenda for the capital such as promoting use of public transport and active travel like walking and cycling.”

Electric vehicle use has grown in popularity among the Scottish capital’s residents, with more than 23% of all licensed electric vehicles in Scotland being in Edinburgh.

In 2011 there were only nine electric vehicles in Edinburgh, although grew to 489 in June 2017.

The city has also increased the number of charging points for electric vehicles, from eight in 2013 to 89 by October 2017.

The city council has predicted that the number of electric vehicle users is expected to rise to roughly 10,000 by the middle of the next decade. It also expects that many of these users will have access to driveways and garages for home charging and will not need access to public infrastructure.

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