The Scottish Government has just awarded over £633,000 to support 45 e-bike projects across the country. The government has also awarded £210,000 to test new ways of improving accessibility across ChargePlace Scotland’s electric vehicle charging network.
The latest round of the eBike Grant Fund via the Energy Saving Trust is aimed at helping schools, hospitals and community groups to establish projects to adopt e-bikes, adaptive bikes and e-cargo bikes as alternatives to car journeys. This round has seen the largest-yet sum of £223,000 from the overall package going towards projects that directly support key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This includes examples such as the project in Golspie, where Cycling UK Scotland will work with key workers including NHS staff, carers, shop workers, service providers, and local businesses to provide access through a new pool of 8 e-bikes. In another example, Glasgow and Edinburgh, Simon Community Scotland will be provided with a roughly £16,000 grant to support their outreach work in helping vulnerable people through the assistance of the appropriate e-bikes.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson enthused: “I ride an e-bike – and it’s completely transformed what I thought was possible on two wheels. I’m pleased that with this funding more people and communities will discover how e-bikes and e-cargo bikes can meet their transport needs whilst improving Scotland’s air quality, health and sense of well-being.”
At the same time, the Scottish Government has also awarded £210,000 to test new ways of improving accessibility across ChargePlace, Scotland’s electric vehicle charging network.
Funding support organisation Scottish Enterprise, aimed at helping businesses manage the impacts of the Corona crisis, collaboratively facilitated the procurement exercise through their Can Do Innovation Challenge framework and competition. Six organisations will now work on developing electric vehicle charging solutions in the first phase of what is called the Low Carbon Transport Innovation Challenge.
One project aims to tackle the problem of drivers with purely combustion engines blocking access to public charging spaces, known as ICEing. Collaborating on a solution here are Urban Foresight, a smart cities consultancy, Miralis Data, a company specialising in logistics data, Arceptive, active in IT services, and Comms365, a company that designs, builds, integrates and operates specialist networks.
The other involves a collaboration between Connected Kerb charging providers, Urban Foresight mentioned above and ‘You. Smart. Thing,’ a company who provides visitor-centric destination management. These companies will trial solutions to ensure disabled people have easier access to charging for their electric vehicles.
The goal of the funding and Low Carbon Transport Innovation Challenge is to enable these organisations to develop and demonstrate their innovation in response to the two challenges.