Dundee Charges Ahead

Dundee Charges Ahead Image

A new Dundee hub packed with the latest technology for charging electric vehicles was officially opened on Friday (July 13).

Solar canopies, charging points and electrical Infrastructure have been built at the site in Princes Street, between Dens Street and Lower Princes Street.

The development at what was most recently a vacant yard, but was previously a filling station, is part of a ยฃ1.86m award made to the city by the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in 2016.

The official opening was carried out by Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing Joe FitzPatrick MSP.

He said: "The Princes Street hub is another fantastic addition to Dundee and to the Chargeplace Scotland network, which is one of the most comprehensive electric vehicle charging networks in Europe. I'm continually impressed with leadership that Dundee City Council has demonstrated in promoting electric vehicles, both in terms of their own fleet, and also in developing innovative infrastructure solutions that the local community, businesses and visitors can enjoy.

"There are many benefits that electric vehicles can bring. Of particular importance is the positive impact that ultra-low and zero emission cars can have on the quality of the air that we breathe and the positive contribution this can have on public health.

"Since 2014, the Scottish Government has awarded ยฃ700,000 grant funding to install publicly accessible charging infrastructure across the city. Over ยฃ227,000 from the Switched on Fleets grant has helped Dundee City Council and its Community Planning Partners switch to electric and alternatively fuelled vehicles. This is another positive step which supports this government's ambition to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032."

The opening was also attended by international delegates at a low emission conference in Dundee from cities including London, Frankfurt and Barcelona.

Organisations including Transport Scotland, OLEV, Michelin and energy companies were also represented along with local EV drivers and EV taxi drivers.

Councillor Lynne Short convener of Dundee City Council's city development committee said: "I am really pleased that there is such a huge level of interest in this hub.

"We chose to put it on one of the main commuter routes into the city centre and trial a few new bits of technology to see how they might be used or adapted in other locations across the city.

"With support from both OLEV and Transport Scotland we are also able to put charging points into neighbouring council areas as a way of developing a regional network.

"Zero and low emission vehicles reduce cost, congestion and carbon emissions as well as improving air quality and this hub will help us to continue our journey.

"The council's extensive use of EVs is encouraging other public bodies and private individuals to buy and use them as a real practical alternative to fossil fuelled cars."

Jesse Norman, Minister for Electric Vehicles, said: "Dundee is becoming one of the leading cities across the UK in the transition to ultra low emission vehicles.

"The state-of-the-art charging hub being opened at Princes St in Dundee, with the support of funding from the Government's go ultra low city scheme, will do still more to help drivers in the city to use low emission vehicles."

Poppy Welch, head of the joint industry and government Go Ultra Low campaign, said: "The installation of Dundee's new rapid charger hub is part of the council's ongoing work towards enabling more residents, commuters, and taxi drivers to choose electric.

"Dundee is one of the leading cities in the UK in the transition to electric vehicles, particularly in its taxi fleet. In addition to improving local air quality in the city, drivers who switch to electric are also able to save thousands of pounds each year on fuel, tax and other running costs. Today's event is a great opportunity to raise awareness of electric vehicles and showcase the positive steps Dundee City Council are taking to facilitate EV adoption in the area."

The chargers will be available to the public, local taxi and private hire fleets, NHS vehicles and local businesses.

Charging points at eight locations including St Anne Lane Car Park and Queen Street Car Park were also funded by the OLEV grant.

Dundee City Council now has the largest fleet of electric vehicles of any local authority in the UK (87 to date) and is a past winner of Green Fleet magazine's public sector fleet of the year and low carbon vehicle operator of the year.

The city has one of the most extensive charging infrastructures in the UK with nine out of the top 10 most used rapid chargers in Scotland being located in Dundee.

City council mechanics have been attending dedicated electric vehicle (EV) training courses towards gaining recognised qualifications in the repair and maintenance of EVs to allow the continued expansion of the council's electric fleet and last year TESLA chose Doubletree Hilton in Dundee to install a strategic charging hub with space for eight of its vehicles.

The council owns 62 charging point at 13 publicly available charging locations, the most recent of which was opened in Lochee in April.

In 2016/17 the council estimated that using EVs reduced carbon dioxide by 122 tonnes.

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