Whilst walking, wheeling, and cycling are always the greenest forms of travel, which also benefit our health and wellbeing, technological advances mean that our vehicles are becoming greener too.
To effectively address climate change, we must tackle transport emissions which account for approximately 50% of the total carbon emissions across Perth and Kinross. Reducing transport emissions is essential in meeting our climate targets and electric cars will play a big role in this.
Electric vehicles, powered in full or in part by a battery that plugs directly into mains electricity, are a more environmentally friendly option. Unlike petrol and diesel engine cars, electric vehicles don’t directly release CO2 emissions into the atmosphere when they are driven.
This helps reduce air pollution and improve air quality in towns and cities. This also makes our streets cleaner for pedestrians and cyclists. Electric cars can also help reduce noise pollution as they are far quieter than conventional cars, creating a more peaceful environment.
Manufacturers are bringing ever more models to the market, boosting choice at a wider range of price point.
So, when you’re in the market for your next car, buying an electric car has never been more attractive:
- £0 to pay when you tax your low emission and pure electric vehicles
- Charging at home on a smart EV tariff can reduce your fuel costs to around 3p per mile
- Significantly less maintenance
- Increased availability and convenience of charging points
- Newer models with higher ranges allow for long journeys
- Government grants to help cover the cost of the vehicle and charging infrastructure.
In the near future expect features such as, wireless charging, faster charge times, batteries becoming more sustainable and battery range increasing.
Perth & Kinross Council are continually working towards the Government’s vision to free Scotland from harmful emissions arising from petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles, by increasing convenience of accessibility and availability of chargers, and promoting the use of electric cars and other modes of zero emission transports.
The Perth and Kinross area has more than 50 charging points, including a number by independent charging providers such as Tesla, Ionity and BP Pulse who provide ultra rapid (up to 350kW) charging facilities for EV drivers.
Many of these points are Perth & Kinross Council chargers, which are accessible to the public. Part of these ongoing installations include Electric A9 sites at Broxden Park & Ride, Auchterarder, Dunkeld & Pitlochry. These are accessed through Charge Place Scotland using an RFID card, mobile phone app or by telephone. Further details, including current tariffs, can be found on the Perth on The Go website.
It is possible to charge an electric vehicle at home using a standard three-pin plug with a cable. However, this has a slow charging rate 2-3 kW and is not recommended for long periods of continuous heavy usage and should only be used as an emergency option.
For most people, charging at home through a wallbox charger is the easiest way to top up your car battery and can be three times faster than using a three-pin plug. Wallbox chargers are usually a small box fitted to the side of a wall, house, or garage.
Home charge points are available in 3kW (16A) and 7kW (32A) forms, but 7kW chargers are most common. All newly installed chargers must be smart which means they can be used to set charging times to make the most of cheaper electricity rates and monitor the charge. The average electric vehicle will need charging for around 6-8 hours on a 7kW charger from 0-100%.
You can also choose between a tethered or untethered charger. With a tethered charger the cable will be permanently attached to the electric charger, and with the untethered the cable will need to be plugged in each time you charge.
Installing a 7kW electric car charger generally costs between £500 – £1000, depending on the complexity of the install. The cost of a full charge at home depends on the type of vehicle, battery size, and your energy tariff. Charging at home on a smart EV tariff should cost around £6 for a full charge at 12p/kWh based on a car with a usable battery of 50kWh. This should provide a typical range of around 175-225 miles.
The Energy Saving Trust offers individuals in Scotland up to £300 towards the cost of purchasing and installing home charge points for electric vehicles. Elegibility criteria and details of the application process can be found on the EST website.
The Energy Savings Trust can also provide advice and information to businesses who are looking to reduce transport costs and cut emissions.
Perth and Kinross on the Go
PK on the Go is a dedicated active travel and sustainable transport site helping residents and visitors to Perth and Kinross to save money, time and hassle while they travel. The programme aims to enhance the region’s urban environments, by reducing traffic congestion and therefore pollution.