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29 August 2019, 15:05
A new £7.5 million project has been launched to help deliver more electric vehicle charging points across Scotland and ensure infrastructure is in place to support them.
The agreement between the public and private sectors will bring together Transport Scotland, SP Energy Networks and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN).
Among the work to be carried out in the project, SSEN will examine the required electricity network infrastructure needed for the north of Scotland - as well as identifying and mapping out charging points to go along the route of the A9.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon highlighted the funding during a visit to the University of Strathclyde's power networks demonstration centre near Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire.
She said: "This partnership highlights the critical role that electricity networks have to play in delivering a zero carbon energy system and in facilitating an electric vehicle revolution and the provision of clean energy for transport.
"This project will develop a new model for delivering both EV charging and electricity network infrastructure which can more effectively satisfy Scotland's ambitions, including delivering inclusive universal access to the benefits of the decarbonisation of transport.
"We have invested over £30 million since 2011 to establish one of the most comprehensive electric vehicle charging networks in Europe.
"There are now over 1,000 points across the country as part of our commitment to help people make the move to low and zero carbon vehicles."
In central and southern Scotland, SP Energy Networks will work on a pilot to increase the pace, accessibility and efficiency of deploying public chargers.
Its chief executive, Frank Mitchell, said: "As Scotland drives towards net-zero emissions, decarbonising transport will be essential.
"This groundbreaking pilot project will support the shift to electric vehicles we need to make sure that every community has equal access to charging points which are connected into Scotland's electricity networks.
"This strategic partnership will allow us to efficiently join the dots between renewable electricity generation, the distribution network and public electric vehicle charging infrastructure to make sure all drivers across Scotland have equal access to our electric future."
SSEN managing director Colin Nicol said: "Government and industry have a shared determination to deliver net zero and it's only by working together that we'll realise this goal.
"When it comes to Scotland's low-carbon ambitions no community should be left behind and this partnership is exactly the joined-up approach needed to deliver investment in key EV infrastructure for our towns, cities and rural areas."