A retired Angus lawyer has said incoming electric vehicle (EV) charges would be “unthinkable” for petrol and diesel drivers.
Mike Devine, 69, is raising significant concerns about an emerging “two tier” charging system that will see drivers using public chargers paying far more than those topping up their vehicles at home.
Mike lives in a retirement home in Forfar. That means his only option is to use council owned charging points which, from November, will be significantly more expensive.
Why is it unfair?
He said: “Asking a minority of motorists to pay £20 for a gallon of fuel while the rest pay £6 would be unthinkable.
“But that example illustrates the disadvantage faced by EV owners who can’t charge at home.”
Many local authorities – including Angus Council – currently waive charging fees as part of a deal with the Scottish Government to encourage more electric car sales.
Angus is among those authorities planning to introduce charges later this year, asking drivers to pay rates far in excess of those paid by drivers who charge their vehicles at home.
Mike said: “Come November it will cost me 23p per kWh to charge my car.
“In the same street there are houses with off-street parking where an owner there with a home charger could fuel a vehicle on a night time rate as low as 4p per kWh.”
What can be done to improve EV charging in Angus?
He wants to see either an Angus discount scheme for local drivers or a reduced tariff during off peak periods.
Mike has been driving an electric car since 2017, currently a Peugeot e208.
He said councils “have done magnificently” in providing electrical vehicle charging infrastructure.
He is, however, worried the charging issue will put people off buying electric vehicles.
“Now my wife and I have signed on for driving electric it would be very difficult to go back.
“Although, it doesn’t make financial sense to be driving electric. A petrol version of my car is £9,000 cheaper and there’s no way you can recoup that.
“I’m certainly no eco-warrior, but I do believe we’re doing our bit.”
Is anything going to change?
An Angus Council spokeswoman said the local authority had commissioned a report into the issue, which was due later this year.
She said: “We are seeking to ensure that charging for energy for EVs is as straightforward as possible.
“It is acknowledged that the home tariffs for electricity are cheaper than the costs to the council.”
She said EV infrastructure had been focused on public car parks, in line with government advice.
“We will be considering our plans for further provision of infrastructure in residential areas, and also on-street, in the coming months.”