A £5.4 million plan has been announched to more than triple the number of electric car charging points across Ayrshire.

The proposals, which would see the Electric Vehicle (EV) network transferred to a private sector partner, are being put forward by all three Ayrshire councils.

While the move is aimed at encouraging EV uptake, it was also revealed that free charging would be coming to an end, with tariffs set to be introduced this year.

Kevin Braidwood, head of roads at Ayrshire Roads Alliance, will tell East Ayrshire Council’s cabinet about the expansion this week.

With a lack of charging points seen as the biggest barrier to electric vehicle take up, the plan seeks to transition from the current publicly-funded network of 126 charging points to work with the private sector and increase this to 433.

It aims to address the private sector’s reluctance to invest in EV facilities.

The overall ‘upfront’ cost, based on 2022 figures, is £5.4m, with Scottish Government grant funding of around £3.2m, private sector investment of £2m and £200k of operational funding.

In his report, Mr Braidwood states: “The preferred mechanism is the model where the EV network would be leased via a concession contract to an experienced commercial operator.”

One of main factors in rolling out the EV network is the requirement for council fleets to have zero emissions from 2025.

A ‘robust’ network is vital to this, the report indicates.

East Ayrshire Council currently has 62 charge points, 14 of which are ‘rapid’, having used £740k in Transport Scotland funding, a funding model that is coming to an end.

The Ayrshire business case has been developed to ensure charging points are available in rural, remote and deprived areas, rather than be limited to ‘commercially attractive’ locations.

The proposal would see the existing council-run charging points transferred to a private-sector partner who would be responsible for all of the associated costs.

The plan has several key elements for choosing EV points, including:

  • Aiming for 99 per cent of Ayrshire properties without off-street parking to be within a 10-minute drive of a charge point
  • Ensuring rural provision is made ‘viable’
  • Installing points in areas of deprivation
  • Utilising petrol stations, supermarkets and retail parks that can be developed into future charging sites
  • Ensure proximity to trunk roads
  • Help promote high streets and town centres
  • Consider proximity to public transport and active travel infrastructure

Mr Braidwood continues: “Recommendations mostly focus on providing destination charging at car parks owned by the councils at schools, leisure centres or near high streets.”

The council will carry out further assessment of the proposed charging facilities, including public consultation.

If the partnership approach goes ahead, the councils would no longer be responsible for electricity bills, repairs, maintenance contracts and replacement of the existing network.

The report states that a survey showed 43 per cent of people citing lack of charging infrastructure as the main reason for not going electric.

Mr Braidwood added: “As the number of EVs has now increased significantly, particularly since 2020, a tariff is now needed to manage the cost of electricity and maintenance associated with EV charger use.

“A tariff is being developed and is expected to be introduced during 2023.”

He adds that the tariff needs to ‘enable and incentivise EV uptake’, while reflecting the costs of electricity used and a share of the wider operating costs.

Cabinet will consider the report on Wednesday, March 22.
Destination Charger (7kW to 22kW) 

  • Avenue Square Car Park, Stewarton
  • Barr Street Car Park, Galston
  • Church Lane Car Park, Galston
  • Darvel Primary School/Sports Centre
  • Drongan Centre
  • Drongan Community Centre
  • East George Street Car Park, Kilmarnock
  • East Main St, Darvel
  • Foregate Car Park, Kilmarnock
  • Gatehead Road Car Park, Crosshouse
  • Glaisnock Street Car Park, Cumnock
  • Grange Academy/Leisure Centre, Kilmarnock
  • Loudoun Street Car Park, Mauchline
  • Main Street, Dalrymple
  • Mauchline Primary School
  • Multi-storey Car Park, Kilmarnock
  • Patna Resource Centre
  • Ranouldcoup Road, Darvel
  • Rose Reilly Sports Centre, Stewarton
  • St Joseph’s Leisure Centre, Kilmarnock
  • Tanyard Car Park, Cumnock
  • Rapid Chargers (50kW)
  • Drongan Centre
  • Gatehead Road Car Park, Crosshouse
  • Saint Germain Street Car Park, Catrine
  • Residential Chargers (under 7kW)
  • Anderson Place Car park, Kilmarnock
  • Ardgour Road
  • Avisyard Avenue, Cumnock
  • Barbieston Road, Auchinleck
  • Barclay Drive, Kilmarnock
  • Barshare Road, Cumnock
  • Bath Street, Kilmarnock
  • Birch Ave, Dalrymple
  • Blair Avenue, Hurlford
  • Burnton Place, New Cumnock
  • Cairnduff Place, Stewarton
  • Castle Croft, Dalmellington
  • Catherine Drive, Galston
  • Cessnock Avenue,Hurlford
  • Dalgleish Avenue, Cumnock
  • Dallowie Road, Patna
  • Dalry Road, Stewarton
  • Dean Street, Kilmarnock
  • Edgar Avenue, Cumnock
  • Fleming Street, Darvel
  • Forbes Place, Kilmarnock
  • Gibson Street, Kilmarnock
  • Gilfoot, Newmilns
  • Glebe Road, Galston
  • Glebe Road, Kilmarnock
  • Greenhead, Newmilns
  • Grougar Road, Kilmarnock
  • High Street, Newmilns
  • Hillmoss, Kilmaurs
  • John Morton Crescent, Darvel
  • Jubilee Drive, Stewarton
  • Kennedy Drive, Kilmarnock
  • Kirkton Road, Fenwick
  • Lindsay Gardens, Kilmarnock
  • Littlemill Place, Rankinston
  • MacIntosh Place, Kilmarnock
  • Macphail Drive, Kilmarnock
  • Main Road, B7061, Fenwick