The Scottish Government has published a new draft outlining its vision to double the availability of public electric vehicle charging. The country intends to launch a dedicated fund to attract investment from the private sector and to provide up to £60 million to local authorities over the next four years.
The private sector is expected to invest approximately half of this funding. The Government believes this can double the size of the public charging network called ChargePlace Scotland, bringing it to 4,200 charge points and building on the existing provisions.
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “We have invested over £50 million to create a network with over 2,100 public charge points across Scotland. With demand for electric vehicles rapidly increasing thanks to government incentives and support – public and private sector partnerships will now be key in attracting investment and scaling provision at pace.” He added, the £60m Public Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Fund would “draw in and smooth commercial investment so that the future charging network works for everyone.”
Apart from growing the network, the draft document seeks to deliver “chargers in the right places”, with a network that covers rural areas too.
Matheson continued: “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 help better identify charge point requirements across Scotland, the Cabinet Secretary also announced £350,000 to support six so-called pathfinder projects across Scotland.
These support local authorities to identify where they could scale public electric vehicle infrastructure rapidly and in a way that attracts private sector investment. Local authorities receiving this funding include Aberdeen City Council and North Ayrshire Council, which get £75k. The City of Edinburgh Council, Dundee City, Falkirk and Glasgow City Region get £50k each.
The Scottish Government will also start working with design specialists at V&A Dundee, ensuring the charging network meets diverse needs and interests. The Government, in its vision, also said, “although difficult to precisely define, expanding the public electric vehicle charging network between now and 2030 could need up to £1 billion investment.” Here the draft further stresses the need for private investment to step up, alongside the Government providing targeted support where a business case cannot be made.
Transport Scotland concludes that the plan, along with its associated outcomes and priorities, will now be reviewed and refined over the next 12 months through engagement with stakeholders.
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