The council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee approved a new approach to encourage and support the use of electric vehicles throughout Argyll and Bute, which will help tackle climate change.
Over the past four years, the council secured £700,000 of Scottish Government funding to install 24 electric vehicle charging points across the area. This includes Campbeltown, Dunoon, Helensburgh, Lochgilphead, Oban, as well as Islay, Mull and Coll.
Another four EV charging schemes are currently being progressed for Tighnabruaich Car Park, Lochgilphead, Tiree and Coll.
Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron said: “This is a very welcome and timely announcement coming as it does just as the Prime Minister has announced the very ambitious target of cutting the UK’s carbon emissions by at least 68 per cent of what they were in 1990 by 2030.
“We all have a part to play in fighting climate change and it is encouraging to see Argyll and Bute Council rolling out this ambitious programme.”
Local Councillor, Alistair Redman (Kintyre and the Islands) added: “It’s great to see the charging points being installed across the council area, including the islands.
“As well as being environmentally important, this is also about modernising our economy and ensuring that we remain attractive to investment and job creation.”
The council will develop its network of electric vehicle charging points by seeking government funding and introducing fees for the electricity used to make sure that the programme is sustainable.
Up until now, the cost of electricity has been absorbed by the council. Developing a policy for recovering costs for the electricity drawn to charge private vehicles will bring Argyll and Bute’s council in line with many other Scottish local authorities.
People rely heavily on private vehicles in rural communities. In the HITRANS area, vehicle ownership is 18% higher, and average distances travelled by road are estimated to be around 20% greater, than the Scottish average.
Investing in EV technology helps people connect in a way that is more climate friendly. It also helps remove barriers to accessing employment, education, leisure activities and essential services.