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No driveway means no on street EV charging in Aberdeenshire

By David Porter

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Home charging will only be allowed on off-road driveways.
Home charging will only be allowed on off-road driveways.

New roads policy documents which are set to go before councillors at various area committees in the coming weeks have revealed that Aberdeenshire Council will not allow EV owners to charge their vehicles unless they have their own off-road driveway to do so.

The document, which will be discussed by Garioch and Buchan councillors next week states: "Aberdeenshire Council do not consent the on-street charging of electric vehicles where this would involve cables (either with or without cable protectors) crossing the footway or any other part of the road.

"Similarly, we would not permit the installation of charging apparatus in the public road where this was for private rather than public use.

"Potential purchasers of electric vehicles who do not have access to off-street parking at home or charging facilities at work should base any decision on utilising publicly available charge locations in the same way that petrol and diesel are currently accessed."

In looking at the increasing rise in ownership, officers have looked at potential mitigations, but have placed considerable restrictions on how this can be achived.

They explain: "There are a number of issues around installing public chargers within the public road and, at current levels of EV ownership, Aberdeenshire Council favour off-street locations wherever possible.

"If EV ownership levels continue to grow rapidly however the case for permitting on-street charging may have to be reviewed."

They include a number of caveats including the installation shall not detrimentally impact pedestrians, will be available for use by all EV users with no preferential treatment given to any group or individual, the rate charged must not exceed Aberdeenshire’s standard tariff by set percentages based on charging speed and that maintenance schedules and fault response targets must be agreed with the council and adhered to.

A further issue with street charging arrises from current requirements for earthing of electrical installations which would not permit the installation of an EV charge point where a charging vehicle might be within 2 .5m of a street lighting column with an incompatible earthing system, ruling out many streets in Aberdeenshire.

With Aberdeenshire Council now part of the Charge Place Scotland network which has seen the introduction of tarriffs at council sites in order to recuperate costs, continued concerns over the unavailability of charges prompted a Freedom of Information request to the Scottish Government over their serviceability which was published today.

While some of the information has been withheld for commercial reasons, the document reveals that there has been an improvement in dealing with out of action charges, but a slowing down in the creation of new locations for users.

The full response can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/foi-202100255666/

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