USING a Fife Council charging point will cost electric car owners £1.60 to connect up for a charge.

Members of the Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee on Thursday approved the fees for using the Fife Council public electric vehicle (EV) charging points, from April 1.

This is to ensure that the growing Fife Council EV public charging network is more accessible and financially sustainable.

Members agreed that to ensure the continued growth of the public charging network there is a need to: Implement fees for use of electricity and charging points to help recover costs; Raise awareness that the EV charging bays are only to be used for charging; and the committee approved the implementation of a rate for electricity consumed at 15p/kWh, and a connection fee of £1.60 per charging session.

Fife’s EV public network of 39 units has been funded by the Scottish Government. By the end of 2020, the network will grow to 68 public EV sites across Fife.

The Government grants cover the installation and initial 5-year maintenance costs, however, the energy and long term maintenance and replacement costs fall to Fife Council.

Cllr. Altany Craik, convener - Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, said: “There’s a growing acceptance in this era of severe budget pressures on local authorities of the need to introduce charges for the EV charging network and move towards a self-sustaining service. By investing in the network of charge points, we can ensure future growth.

“Electric car charging continues to offer substantial savings compared to the cost of an equivalent petrol or diesel car. We hope that the continued growth of our EV network will accelerate the use of green vehicles and further advance a green revolution.”

He added: "Free parking for electric vehicles and free energy supply in Fife is no longer sustainable. We need to ensure that EV charging points are fully utilised to enable suitable, convenient access for users. They should only be used to recharge, with the vehicle moved as soon as charging is completed.

"The new fees of 15p/kWh for energy usage and a £1.60 connection fee mean an average cost for electric vehicle users of 4.3p per mile. This compares favourably with conventional petrol/diesel vehicles with an average consumption of 50mpg that have a cost of around 11.7p per mile.