You have to smile. First Egotricity starts charging electric car owners on motorways, then Donald ‘Climate Change is Scam’ Trump becomes US President and now The Highland Council is to charge electric car users 30p per kwhr for it’s hitherto free charging points. One may ask why a public body which is short of cash has been subsidising electric car owners to the tune of £14k. One may ask why self righteous eco-manic drivers should get free electricity. One may suggest that commercial operations should shoulder the cost, not the taxpayer. If you can afford an already heavily subsidised car, surely you can afford to fuel it. Problem is that commercial operations need to be commercial and the lack of interest probably reflects the lack of potential customers. Now I have seen electric car charging points at Inverness Cathedral car park, Dingwall car park, Dumnadrochit car park and Ullapool Ferry terminal. I have only ever seen one person attempting to use one once. And that was a failure as a Dutch motorist with an electric car found he couldn’t make it work. Just doing a few simple sums and if the fee is 30p per kwhr I estimate that it costs more to run an electric car with a very limited range than most petrol cars with ranges of up to 600miles. Of course in comparison to what you would pay for you electricity at home, some 13.8p per kwhr, public charging points are very expensive.
Scale the system up and consider the length of time it takes to charge a car even at high speed charging points and I fear it is not a deliverable option. The average car takes about four minutes to fuel with petrol or diesel, and ten minutes in the queue to pay. One may question why petrol pumps don’t simply take charge cards and save the queue and the cost of cashiers. Could it be the attached shops that result in us standing behind someone who has done their weekly shop and takes ages at the cash desk? I digress! However I hope you take my point. If everyone went electric queues at re-charging points would be horrendous. What it boils down to is that fossil fuels are energy dense and deliverable. Like renewables of wind, the alternatives simply aren’t