Speaking yesterday (28 October) in a debate in the Scottish Parliament, South Scotland MSP Michelle Ballantyne called on the Scottish Government to consider its long-term strategy for encouraging the use of electric vehicles.
Mrs Ballantyne noted that as electric vehicles become more popular, it will become necessary for local authorities to be given more powers to manage the accompanying infrastructure.
She stated that local authority planning powers will have to change to accommodate the need for charging stations for flats and private developments and that decisions will have to be made about which party takes financial responsibility for upkeep.
Mrs Ballantyne highlighted that most electric vehicle charging stations only have a life span of 10 years and that warranties only cover the first four years of use. A national electric vehicle strategy will therefore have to address the funding of charging station upkeep by local authorities.
Michelle Ballantyne MSP commented:
“Politicians of all stripes agree that we should be encouraging people to move away from hydrocarbon vehicles and adopt greener electrical vehicles.
“However, as the use of electric vehicles increases, it will become necessary to create a strategy for local authorities to manage the new infrastructure that is required.
“considerations will have to be made by councils in areas such as planning, where it may become necessary to guarantee charging points in new developments. This will of course lead to questions about who is responsible for maintenance and upkeep, further proving the need for a coherent strategy.
“Similarly, from a financial perspective, local authorities will not be able to provide free electric vehicle charging stations, as many currently do. As electric vehicle use increases so too will the costs for councils; this is why some local authorities, such as Midlothian, are turning to a tariff system.
“It is clear that a national framework is required to ensure that electric vehicles are treated equally across the country, that infrastructure is available whether you are driving in Wick or West Linton, and that councils have the funding to make this happen.