Southampton City Council is set to introduce tariffs for electric vehicle charging in December. The council first introduced electric vehicle (EV) charging points in 2018, offering them on a “free to use” basis for a limited period. This was intended to encourage the early take-up of Electric Vehicles in the city at a time when this type of vehicle was still evolving. The council now has 47 EV charging units operating in 17 locations and is the city's largest single provider of EV chargers. Manufacturers are now offering an expanding range of increasingly affordable and practical choices, and these are trickling into the second-hand market. The registration of new EVs increased by nearly 80% last year and that trend is expected to continue.
This is reflected in the use of city chargers, which have seen a seven-fold increase in use since the start of the year. The cost of providing this is becoming increasingly unsustainable and the council says its focus must now turn to ensuring it can maintain a reliable service for users and investment in more charging options.
Councillor Eammon Keogh, Cabinet Member for transport and district regeneration at Southampton City Council said: “Electric vehicle users in our city have increased so much since we first introduced the trial of free charging, showing their support for our green city plan. The time has come to take a step forward and keep up with demand by introducing competitive tariffs on our chargers. The tariffs introduced will be competitive and will support our plans for more charging facilities in the future.”
The competitive rate starts on 12 December 2022 and the fees introduced will be consistent with other providers and not include any connection or subscription costs. Future fees and pricing policy will be subject to regular review to ensure chargers can continue to offer a sustainable and attractive option to EV users.