Dundee is regarded as Scotland’s leading city in the adoption, promotion and operation of electric vehicles. It is Scotland’s only Go Ultra Low City, promoting itself as a model for the uptake of EVs. Dundee City Council has been involved in various EV infrastructure and vehicle deployment projects including the introductions of 5 fully electric HGV’s, the trial of Innovate UK Pop-up chargers and many more including the EV multi-storey car park project.

In June 2018, the multi-storey EV charging hub project was awarded funding as part of the Low Carbon Travel and Transport Challenge Fund established by Transport Scotland from funds awarded by the ERDF programme and Transport Scotland funds to support an increased proportion on ultra-low emission vehicles on Scotland’s roads. The first EV charging hub in a multistory car park opened in 2019 and already proved a popular hub for city centre business owners, workers, shoppers and visitors during the day. Thanks to COVID19 and lockdown restrictions, there was a 12-month delay in completing and opening the second multi-storey charging hub.

Much of the city centre housing in Dundee consists of tenements and multistory flats. Except for a limited provision of private car parks linked to flats, these are residential areas where dedicated off-street parking is often not an option. With private EV ownerships in Dundee expected to grow in line with national trends it was proposed to build three EV charging hubs in the city centre multistory car parks. When all three EV multistory charging hubs (Green Market, Olympia and Gellatly Street) are open, they will provide an extra 60 charge point connections across the city. As more than 50% of the population don’t have a driveway or off-street parking to enable EV charging, this development will allow those households to consider an EV as a feasible choice in the future. The carparks are open 24 hours and day, seven days a week for city visitors and commuters into the city during the day and for residents for night. It currently costs EV users 15p per kW with a 38p connection fee to charge their vehicle. Dundee currently have an established “residency scheme” where locals are able to park and charge for free. The project supports the air quality improvements in some of the most populated areas of the city. The central locations support wider economic interests by enabling and encouraging emission free journeys in the city centre with potential benefits to local businesses tourists, shoppers and visitors.

Now Dundee have two multi-storey car parks with EV hubs located on the top floors. Each hub has 10 chargers (each with two connectors), solar capacity and battery storage. This will be also be the first large scale trial of an innovative new technology that’s uses a “controller receiver” configuration of EV charging points to reduce equipment and operational costs by managing electrical demand on the grid. The controller unit acts as a communications hub allowing for the quick and easy addition of charging units as anticipated demand increases. This allows Dundee City Council to increase the number of chargers in the future. The hub set-up allows smart charging of EVs, offering the potential to better manage supply and demand on the grid. Another example of this, is by installing solar panels and battery storage system it then integrates more renewable energy and enable variable charging of vehicles when demand is lower, helping reduce environmental impacts associated with electricity generation. The main differences between the two carparks is the solar configuration. Due to the structural capacity of the car park we were unable to install solar canopies found at Green Market and have instead installed solar PV ground-mounting buckets. The solar generated is the still the same at 36. This is the first time that charge points have been deployed at scale in a multi-storey car park in Scotland and will provide valuable learning on how this can be done across the country. By Summer 2021, the third and final carpark will be completed setting Dundee ahead of any other city in EV charging options.

Energy Saving Trust are the administrators of the LCTT Challenge Fund Project. The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-2020 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow: