As Edinburgh progresses towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly future, the city’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality is supported by the new Low Emission Zone (LEZ).  The rising number of EVs in Edinburgh is also driving a shift towards home charging of electric vehicles .

Here’s a closer look at how Edinburgh is embracing the EV revolution and expanding its EV charging infrastructure.

Market trends: Edinburgh is embracing the EV revolution

More residents are turning to electric vehicles as a more sustainable transportation option.  This trend is fuelled by a growing environmental consciousness and advancements in EV technology.  Statistics show an ongoing increase in EV registrations, signalling a greener future for transport in Edinburgh.

Choosing the right EV Charger for your Edinburgh home or business

The effectiveness of a home EV charging setup lies in selecting the right charger.  Factors such as charging speed, compatibility with different EV models, and cost-effectiveness play a crucial role.  From basic Level 1 chargers to faster Level 2 models, we help you navigate these options to find a charger that best suits your lifestyle and vehicle requirements.

One of the main points which affects us all is cost; we all want to save money and reduce the installation cost – but picking the correct charger will save you money in the long run.

Front view of the SyncEV Wall Charger type 2 with 7.4kW capacity.

Installing your EV Charger

Installing a home EV charger involves more than just plugging in a device.  It requires professional assessment and installation to ensure safety and compliance with regulations.  You can find more on our EV charger installation page.

Our Edinburgh based team at IES specialises in seamless installation processes, from your initial assessments to performing any necessary electrical upgrades to your fuse board or consumer unit.  If you don’t have space in your fuse board for your new EV circuit, we can add an additional fuse board to control the new electrical circuit that you will need, this will also have a surge protection device in the unit for additional protection for your EV charger and electric vehicle.

We normally also recommend an EICR test before the install to make sure that your wiring is up to a safe standard for use.

Professional installers like Ideal will also ensure that your home charger is optimally configured for your needs and bank balance (by setting up off peak charging you will save a massive amount on your home energy bill.)

The benefits of home charging: Convenience at your doorstep

Home charging offers complete convenience – imagine starting each day with a fully charged vehicle, ready for your commute or adventure.  Home charging can also be significantly more cost-effective compared to public charging points, especially when you factor in off-peak electricity rates and the potential for integrating renewable energy sources like solar power and battery banks within your home.

Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) or Vehicle-to-Home (V2H) systems allow electric vehicles (EVs) to not only charge their batteries from the electrical grid or solar panels but also enable them to discharge energy back into the grid or home.

Here’s a brief overview:

  • Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G): This technology enables EVs to interact with the power grid to sell excess electricity back to the grid or provide grid services like demand response.  When the demand for electricity is high, EVs can supply stored energy back to the grid, and during off-peak hours, they can store energy when it’s cheaper.
  • Vehicle-to-Home (V2H): V2H systems allow EVs to supply electricity directly to a home.  This can be particularly useful during power outages or peak tariff times.  If your home is equipped with solar panels, you can charge your EV during the day using solar energy and then use the EV’s battery to power your home at night, reducing reliance on the grid.


The Edinburgh low emission zone (LEZ): What drivers need to know

As cities across the UK take steps to reduce pollution and create healthier living spaces, Edinburgh has introduced a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) to curb vehicle emissions in the city centre.

This move aims to improve air quality, making the city safer and more pleasant for residents and visitors alike.  Here’s everything drivers need to know about the LEZ in Edinburgh.

Understanding the low emission zone:  The low emission zone in Edinburgh is a designated area where certain standards for vehicle emissions are enforced.

Vehicles that do not meet these emission standards are restricted from entering the zone, helping to reduce air pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter.

These pollutants are known to have adverse effects on health, contributing to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

Where and when the LEZ applies: The Edinburgh LEZ encompasses the city centre, bounded by key roads and landmarks.  The LEZ operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round, ensuring continuous protection against pollution from vehicles.

The Edinburgh LEZ boundary circles the city centre from:

  • Tollcross in the south
  • to Palmerston Place in the west
  • along Queen Street in the New Town
  • to Picardy Place
  • around Abbeyhill and onto Holyrood Road
  • along the Pleasance in the east
  • before heading back along the Meadows to Tollcross.

The Edinburgh counctil website provides a useful LEZ boundary map .

LEZ standards and affected vehicles: The LEZ standards in Edinburgh are based on the Euro emission standards.

For petrol vehicles, the minimum standard is Euro 4, which typically includes cars and vans manufactured from 2006 onwards.

Diesel vehicles must meet at least Euro 6 standards, generally applying to those made from September 2015 onwards.

The LEZ affects older petrol and diesel vehicles, including cars, vans, buses, and lorries that do not meet these standards.

Exemptions and penalties: Certain vehicles are exempt from the LEZ restrictions, including vehicles for disabled persons, emergency services, and historic vehicles over 40 years old.  There are also provisions for residents within the LEZ, offering a grace period to update their vehicles.

Drivers of non-compliant vehicles entering the LEZ may face penalties.

Preparing for the LEZ:  Drivers can prepare for the Edinburgh LEZ by using this handy online tool to check if their vehicle meets the required emission standards.  This can also be done by looking up the vehicle’s Euro emission standard in the vehicle manual.

For those with non-compliant vehicles, considering an upgrade to a compliant vehicle, whether petrol, diesel, hybrid, or fully electric, could be beneficial.  Additionally, exploring alternative modes of transport, such as public transport, cycling, or walking for city centre visits, can also contribute to reducing emissions and improving air quality.

Road sign showing Edinburgh's new Low Emission Zone (LEZ).

Is it worth it?  EVs and rising cost of energy bills

The increases in energy prices over the last few years makes the cost-effectiveness of running EVs a hot topic.  Despite higher initial costs, EVs can offer significant long-term savings.

Electricity, despite its increasing cost, typically remains cheaper per mile compared to petrol.  We break down the costs of charging an EV, considering factors like electricity rates, battery capacity, and charging efficiency.

For example, charging a 60 kWh EV battery at a rate of £0.20 per kWh costs roughly £13.40. This cost can be further reduced with off-peak rates or renewable energy sources.

Some questions you might be asking

What are the benefits of owning an electric vehicle?  The benefits include reduced emissions, lower operating costs, tax incentives, high performance, and a smoother driving experience.  EVs contribute significantly to reducing air pollution and dependence on fossil fuels.

Are there enough public charging stations available?  The availability of public charging stations is growing but it varies by area around Edinburgh.  Cities and motorways have more charging options compared to rural areas.

Is it worth investing in an electric vehicle?   While the upfront cost may be higher, EVs can be more economical in the long run due to lower running and maintenance costs, government incentives, and environmental benefits.  The decision also depends on your driving habits and charging accessibility.

How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle?  Charging an EV is cheaper than filling a standard vehicle up at a petrol station.  Average cost to per mile for a diesel or petrol car is between 20-22p per mile, whereas an EV can be as little as 4p and up to 17p per mile depending on where you change your car.

Driving Edinburgh into a sustainable future

Electric vehicles are more than just a trend; they represent a shift towards a more sustainable and efficient way of life.

As Edinburgh embraces this change, Ideal Electrical Solutions is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

For more information about the Edinburgh Low Emission zone click here.

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