Electric vehicle charge points may put Scotland on 'cusp of motoring revolution'

19 December 2017, 07:21

Electric Car Charging Space

A surge of more than 40% in the use of electric vehicle charge points could mean Scotland is on the "cusp of a motoring revolution", according to a transport expert.

The power stations were used 37,433 times during August 2017, compared with 26,119 times in the same month a year earlier - an increase of 43%.

However, figures from the RAC Foundation study show almost a quarter of points were not used at all in August this year.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "Scotland may be on the cusp of a motoring revolution, but step-changes in electric vehicle technology must be matched by equally big strides in recharging infrastructure.

"It is pleasing to see the use rapid chargers are getting. But the stubbornly high number of charge points that get little or no use shows that we still need to think not just about the total amount of charging infrastructure but what type it is and where it is located.

"Few of the owners of Scotland's 2.8 million cars and vans think twice about the process of refuelling with petrol or diesel: pull onto a forecourt, flip the filler cap, insert the nozzle and a couple of minutes later the job's done.

"Only when we get close to the same ease of use for electric cars will we truly enable a mass market for them."

The bulk of the charge points in the ChargePlace Scotland network are publicly accessible, though some are located on private commercial premises and will have limited, if any, public availability.

Domestic charge points are not included in the research.

Rapid chargers made up 16% of chargers but were used for 49% of all powering up sessions.

The top 10 charge points by usage were all rapid chargers and accounted for 13% of all charging sessions in August 2017.

Eight of the top 10 charge points - including the top three - were in Dundee.

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation exploring the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.