Dundee taxi drivers and visitors set to pay for electric vehicle charging

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Taxi drivers and visitors to Dundee will have to pay to charge their electric cars from October 1 under proposals going before councillors next week.

Dundee City Council wants to charge electric vehicle (EV) owners a fixed rate of 15p per kilowatt hour (kWh) and a standing charge of 38p every time they want to top up their batteries.

The charges apply to all electric vehicle owners, but residents of the local authority area will be exempt if they send the council proof of their residency.

Business users – including taxi drivers – will have to pay each time. If the plans are approved by the city development committee on Monday, it will cost £6.38 to fully recharge a Nissan Leaf’s 40kWh battery.

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​Chris Elder, taxi representative for Unite the Union in Dundee, believes the added cost is unlikely to stop cabbies from switching to electric vehicles – but says other challenges remain.

Mr Elder said: “£6.38 for about 130 miles isn’t bad – but there need to be electric charging points just for taxis.

“Drivers are struggling to get on the charging points because if it isn’t the public using them it’s the council.

“Dundee is the best place in Scotland for electric cars but we’re struggling.

“Drivers are having to turn down longer journeys like airport runs because they have to take 30 minutes out to charge their cars if they’re running low.

“If the council wants to encourage the uptake of electric cars with taxi drivers it has to stick to its side of the bargain.”