Action plan to expand electric vehicle charging points across Fife

There are currently 92 public charging stations across the region, however 67 are hosted by the private sector.

Action plan to expand electric vehicle charging points across Fife iStock
Going green: An action plan is being drawn up by Fife Council.

An action plan is being drawn up by Fife Council exploring the best ways to expand the region’s network of electric vehicle charging points.

Currently there are 92 public charging stations across Fife but, with 67 of those hosted by the private sector, question marks continue to be raised about whether there are enough in the right areas to satisfy a growing demand.

With that in mind, council officers are in the process of developing a new strategy to bolster Fife’s electric vehicle network – ranging from vehicles and charging points to promoting the benefits of electric vehicles more generally.

As part of that, work will be done to gauge the EV charging requirements for residents without off street parking – as much of the focus so far has been on providing points within off-street public car parks.

The issue has been raised by Dunfermline Conservative councillor Gavin Ellis, who is keen to see more progress made on the matter.

“There are many projects that can help fund these charging points and our rural areas and villages deserve our focus in providing these charging points,” he said.

Fife’s network has been thus far been designed as a top-up network, with an assumption that a driver’s primary charging location would be at their home.

However, at times of peak demand, only 30 (32%) of the points which are hosted by the council are in use at any one time, meaning there is significant capacity to accommodate any increase in demand.

Councillor Altany Craik, convener of Fife’s economy, tourism, strategic planning and transportation committee, said the provision of on-street facilities is an issue which is challenging local authorities across Scotland.

“There are issues to consider regarding the implementation of on-street charging facilities, including the restricted road widths in many towns and villages and pressures on the road network in housing areas, due to parked vehicles,” he explained.

“Two Scottish local authorities are piloting on-street charging facilities, mostly in urban centres, and the council will review the outcome of these trials in consideration of a forward strategy.

“The council is also looking to work with Transport Scotland as soon as national guidelines are developed for electric vehicle charging facilities.

“The council is aware of the funding opportunities for on-street charging facilities and a revised EV Strategy/Action Plan is being developed which will consider the options to best expand the eFife network.”

By local democracy reporter Craig Smith