Radical plans have been announced to install electric vehicle charging points every 50 miles on Scottish trunk roads.
The £2.6million scheme will see free installation of home charging points throughout Scotland, public charging outlets at least every 50 miles on trunk roads and a network to join up electric vehicles (EV) with public transport.
Proposals were announced today by Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown and Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse, who said the plan would help Scotland meet its ambition of complete decarbonisation of road transport by 2050.
The £2.6million scheme, which includes £750,000 from Transport Scotland, also includes charging points at leisure facilities and local authority public car parks and funding for charge points at workplaces, with EV drivers connected with the islands through charging points at ferry terminals.
Speaking at Knockhill racing circuit Mr Brown said: “Scotland has long been at the forefront of world-changing innovation, be it penicillin or television, and I want to ensure we are leading where the rest of the world will soon follow on electric vehicles.
“This funding looks to the future – a low carbon future, to an electric revolution on our roads where people can charge their carbon-neutral cars at home, drive them to their local station and jump on an electric train to their workplace, which will also have charging points for the days they need to take the car to work.
“Or tourists can decide to take an EV driving tour around Scotland, safe in the knowledge they are never too far from a charger. And can hop on a ferry knowing they can charge up at the other end if needed.”
The Government also used the opportunity to launch their new ChargePlace Scotland web pages which will show the locations of all the charging points as well as details of financial help to get an EV on the road and information on the benefits of doing so.
Mr Brown added: “The move to EVs is good for our environment, helping to cut carbon emissions and reduce noise pollution, and will also benefit drivers who will pleased to hear about the cheaper running costs. You can get from Edinburgh to Glasgow on a single charge for around £1.50 and right now electric vehicles are exempt from road tax.
“The transition to a low carbon sustainable future is reaping rewards for Scotland – we’re already seeing exciting new opportunities for innovative Scottish businesses in the LCV sector with companies such as Alexander Dennis in Falkirk, Allied Vehicles in Glasgow and Axeon Batteries in Dundee already leading the way. As their great work continues, they attract more investment to Scotland, which means more jobs and a better economy.
“In addition, academic institutions such as St Andrews, Strathclyde and Dundee Universities, Edinburgh College and the Transport Research Institute at Napier University have been and are at the forefront of developing and testing new EV technology here in Scotland.
“Our E-cosse EV partnership is bringing us together with car manufacturers, power companies, local authorities, academic institutions and WWF Scotland to maximise the opportunities for EVs to become an essential part of Scotland’s greener transport system.
“I look forward to the day when the only vehicles on Scotland’s roads are electric vehicles, and this funding will be a massive step towards that vision.”
Mr Wheelhouse, who last week outlined how Scotland plans to meet its ambitious climate change targets to 2027, praised the investment for electric vehicle charging points.
He said: “We are committed to tackling climate change and playing a leading role in tackling what is a global challenge. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions arising from our society’s use of predominantly fossil fuel dependant transport systems are a key area where developed nations, like Scotland, need to make progress.
“These proposals drive us in the right direction to a greener future. By providing access to charging points across the whole of Scotland and our islands we can ensure that electric vehicles become a practical proposition for individuals and business fleet owners when considering their purchasing or leasing options. In this way a low carbon future can become Scotland’s reality.
“Scotland is leading the way on mitigating climate change. As a country, we are showing a can do attitude and the ambition needed to play our part in averting more severe climate change. That is something of which the people of Scotland can be proud.”
Energy company SSE has been appointed official partner to manage the installation of domestic charging points for households across Scotland.
David Densley, Head of Sustainable Transport at SSE, added: “As the UK's leading generator of electricity from renewable sources and a strong supporter of electric vehicle technology, SSE is proud to partner with Transport Scotland in this important project.
“Electric vehicles have an important role to play in contributing to a low carbon economy and the installation of charging points across Scotland in the coming years will go some way to helping achieve this.”