Saturday, January 18, 2020
The skye times mobile

Kate Forbes has called for "sensible and proportionate" fees for the use of electric vehicle charging points across the Highlands.

Currently there is no cost for people using them, but last month Highland Council leaders signalled their intention to move towards a pricing strategy.

The latest figures show that usage at the council's current 22 charge points is costing the local authority around £20,000-a-year in electricity.

Kate Forbes MSP said she hopes that the charging scheme in Moray is not replicated, where there is a flat charge of £3.80 per use, regardless of how much or little electricity is used.

The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch said: "At the moment most electric cars have only about 100 miles in their range, so if you're wanting to drive from Portree to Dingwall or from Cromarty to Glencoe, you're going to need to stop somewhere for a charge.

"I think it's right and fair that folk using charging points pay a sensible and proportionate fee for it.

"It's unfair for local authorities to be out of pocket for about £20,000 worth of electricity each year, as is the case for Highland Council, and I don't think anyone would grudge paying the cost of their usage – along with possibly even a little bit extra to cover repairs, upkeep and the like."

Kate Forbes MSP added: "We do not want to repeat what happened in Moray, where the independent and Conservative-led administration implemented a flat rate fee of £3.80 per use.

"This means if you use the charger for five minutes or five hours – particularly for some of the slower ones – you would pay exactly the same amount.

"I believe it would be far better to have a pricing structure based on electricity usage.

"I have written to Highland Council to highlight my own views, and hope to discuss this issue with them in more detail.

"I am proud to be part of a Scottish Government that is going to create the nation's first 'electric highway' on the A9 – which will include charging points along the route.

"There is no doubt that electric charging infrastructure for vehicles needs to be expanded, and I hope to see more of these points appearing across my constituency soon."

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