Plans to install 110 new electric vehicle (EV) charging points across South Lanarkshire have been scaled back.
Just 64 charging points will now be installed across 19 hubs as part of Project PACE following technical and financial limitations.
Head of roads and transportation, Gordon Mackay said “despite Covid-related delays” the project was due to be completed by April.
Project PACE - a partnership between North and South Lanarkshire Councils, Transport Scotland and Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) - is a £5.3 million project that was due to see more than 200 new charging points installed across North and South Lanarkshire by December 2020.
However, capacity issues with the SPEN energy network along with additional costs uncovered after “more detailed investigations” have forced the project to be scaled back.
Plans to install a new hub at Lanark Loch have been scrapped due to the excessive cost of connecting the car park to the grid.
In South Lanarkshire, there will be 19 new EV charging hubs with schemes in Carluke, Carnwath, Carstairs, East Kilbride, Rutherglen and Strathaven already completed.
Other hubs in Abington, Cambuslang, Crawford, East Kilbride, Forth, Hamilton, Lanark, Larkhall and Strathaven are expected to be completed in the spring.
Plans to find an alternative site to Lanark Loch are also being explored, with Lanark Lifestyles thought to be the front runner while funding for an extra 18 charging points from a separate Transport Scotland fund has also been secured.
A new site in Blantyre is also being assessed.
Addressing councillors on the community and enterprise committee on Tuesday, February 17, Mr Mackay said: “The transport sector is the biggest contributor to carbon emissions in Scotland.
“Despite Covid-related delays, we expect to complete the installation programme in spring of this year.
“Prior to this project starting, we had 44 public-facing charging units. This programme will increase to 108 such units and we have a further 18 units in the pipe line via a separate funding scheme.
“There were some relatively minor changes to the original proposals.”
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EV charging points run by the council are currently free to use and officers are set to look at the implications of charging for electricity for EVs.
Mr Mackay added: “Financial pressures on the council as a consequence of providing currently free energy via these units is at an annual electricity cost in the region of £25,000.
“We anticipate this will rise to £160,000 with the conclusion of this project and these charging units coming online.
“In the sort term at least, electricity should continue to be provided free to users as this will encourage the uptake of EVs.
“Officers will, over the next six months, explore options for cost recovery for the use of EV charging infrastructure.”