SNP commits £25m for electric car chargers in Aberdeen.
Aberdeen SNP has pledged to spend at least £25m on electric car chargers if it wins control of Aberdeen City Council at the May general election.
The party hopes the investment will add 2,000 electric vehicle charging points across the city.
As of January this year, there were 103 public charging points in Aberdeen to charge electric vehicle batteries, according to the latest UK government statistics.
This equates to 45 devices per 100,000 inhabitants.
The SNP said its £25m injection of funding into Aberdeen’s electric vehicle infrastructure would bring the figure to more than 900 per 100,000 people.
As of January this year, there were 87 chargers per 100,000 in Dundee, 91 in the Highlands, 50 in Moray, 45 in Aberdeenshire and 52 in Scotland.
SNP councillor Alexander McLellan, who is standing for re-election, said that “no stone will be left unturned in terms of looking for funding” for the £25 million initiative, “but it will require capital investment from Aberdeen City Council”.
He said: “We’ll certainly speak to everyone, including the Scottish Government and UK Government, to see what funding can be unlocked to help us move this forwards.
“We’re committing to doing this, and if we have to do it ourselves with our own capital investment then that’s what we will do.
“If you compare the Electric Vehicle infrastructure in Aberdeen to Dundee, Dundee is miles ahead.
“It’s had a lot of Scottish Government investment, and if we could see a similar investment in infrastructure, that would be welcome”.
Mr McClellan said the SNP government was also willing to work with local businesses to install more chargers around the city.
The £25m investment will be paid out in annual instalments of £5m over five years, the SNP said.
If you’ve ever driven an electric vehicle, then you know that finding a suitable working charger is essential if you want to complete your trip on time.
Rapid chargers are much faster and can charge you from zero to 100% in about an hour.
Of Aberdeen’s current 103 public chargers (as of January), only 25 are Rapid chargers.
Mr McClellan said when the SNP came to Aberdeen City Council after the May vote, they would consult with the public on the best locations for chargers and what types of equipment would be most useful.
He said: “We’re going to have to work out what people would like, and where.
“We’re not ruling out any option. We need to make sure the infrastructure is fit for purpose, and fit for the future as well.”
Mr McLellan said the SNP wanted charging stations to be in the most convenient locations for drivers.
Some of the examples he highlighted are supermarkets where you can recharge while shopping or at leisure places like swimming pools.
He also stressed that the SNP will keep people’s living conditions in mind when launching the chargers.
“We don’t want people who live in certain kinds of accommodation to be excluded from this policy,” he said.
For people living in apartments without their own designated parking spaces, options such as the lamp-post-based chargers used in places like London, he said, could be considered.
“Lampposts and on-street parking for domestic use is certainly an option we’ll be looking at,” he added.
Mr McClellan said plans to power Aberdeen’s electric vehicle infrastructure would go hand in hand with other efforts to reduce the collective carbon footprint of our travels, such as ambitions to reopen train stations.
Councillor for Tillydrone, Seaton and Old Aberdeen said active travel options such as walking or cycling “should be the first stop on domestic travel where possible”, but admitted using your own car was still a requirement.
He added: “Obviously there is a need for people to use cars to get about for certain purposes as well, but we hope that if people have cars, they’ll be using cars that are much more friendly to our environment.”
The sale of all new petrol and diesel cars and vans will end in the UK by 2030.
This is part of the UK’s net zero ambitions.
Mr McClellan said the £25m investment should help Granite City prepare for future transport.
He said: “As the energy capital of Europe, Aberdeen has a unique role to play as the world moves to a more sustainable future.
“We want to help lead that movement, ensuring that our city and the people who live here are not left behind.
“We will support people who want to reduce their carbon footprints to work towards that.
“As part of this, we need to invest in green infrastructure, which includes charging stations.
“Far too often, I hear people saying they would invest in an electric vehicle, but they are concerned whether they would be able to charge it up in our city.
“Our plans could see Aberdeen leading by example in the roll-out of Electric Vehicle infrastructure.”
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