The Scottish Government has published a new draft vision statement for public electric vehicle (EV) charging in Scotland. The new vision aims to place people and businesses first, outlining the accessible, affordable and reliable public network required for the future.
Building on existing provision and seeking to deliver more of the right chargers in the right places, a new public EV charging fund will be launched in Scotland that seeks to attract investment from the private sector. The fund will provide up to £60 million to local authorities over the next four years, with approximately half of the funding anticipated to be invested from the private sector. The move, according to the Scottish Government, has the potential to double the size of the public charging network in Scotland.
“I’m pleased to outline a new vision for the public electric vehicle charging network. Even though we prioritise funding in active travel and sustainable public transport, cars and vans will still have a role to play and particularly in rural areas. To meet our climate targets, we need these vehicles to be electric, and so we require a seamless network of public electric vehicle chargers, that works for everyone, all of the time,” said Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson.
“Our draft vision provides a clear picture of what electric vehicle charging networks must deliver for drivers across Scotland, and our priorities for achieving those changes. We need a just transition, where accessibility, availability and reliability is key and where no one is left behind from the positive shift to zero emission transport system – including rural and island communities.”
To speed up new strategies and help better identify charge point requirements across Scotland, the Cabinet Secretary also announced £350,000 to support six pathfinder projects across Scotland.
“I understand the concerns people have raised around the potential for charging infrastructure impeding pedestrian access to pavements and their ability to move around freely,” Matheson continued.
“We can do things better. And I am pleased to confirm that we will soon begin working with design specialists at V&A Dundee to plan a public network that works for all. This ground breaking approach will see people’s diverse needs and interests shape the future network.”
The draft vision statement has been developed as part of work Transport Scotland has been undertaking with Scottish Futures Trust on Scotland’s public EV charging network. It follows on from a joint report published in July 2021 that identified the opportunities for growing the electric vehicle charging network to meet future demand. Over the next 12 months, the draft vision will be reviewed and refined through continued engagement and insight.
“The shift from petrol and diesel to electric vehicles is going to be one of the largest examples of public or private policy implementation of the next decade,” said Neil Swanson, from the Electric Vehicle Association Scotland.
“Electric vehicle drivers’ associations play an instrumental role in providing a support network for individuals using electric modes of transport and promoting the benefits of the electrification of transport for our environment, our health and our economy.”
Swanson continued: “We warmly welcome the publication of the draft Vision that puts everyone front and centre of a public electric vehicle charging network that’s fit for the future. The network needs to continue to grow in a way that ensures no part of Scotland is left behind and we will continue to engage with government on how this draft vision can best be realised for the benefit of EV drivers across Scotland.”
The new vision for Scotland’s public electric vehicle charging network can be found on the Transport Scotland website.