19 December 2017

Scotland’s electric vehicles spark to life – 43% rise in one year

Scotland has seen a dramatic rise in the use of electric vehicles, with charging sessions increasing by 43 percent in the past year and 5,947 percent since 2013.

The data comes from analysis of Scotland’s ChargePlace network by The RAC Foundation. It showed that charge points across the country were used 37,433 times during August 2017, compared with 26,119 times the previous year.

In August 2013, charge points were used a mere 619 times, highlighting the speed with which the technology is impacting Scotland’s transport system. There are now 1,133 charge points (a 23 percent increase year-on-year) and 6,284 vehicles eligible for plug-in and van grant schemes (a 36 percent increase). There are over 100,000 eligible vehicles in the whole of the UK. 

However, the report also shows that almost a quarter of charge points were not used at all in August. This could be attributed to location and whether rapid charging infrastructure is being built. For example, eight of the top ten charging points were located in Dundee alone.

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”.

“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”.

He added: “Only when we get close to the same ease of use for electric cars will we truly enable a mass market for them”.

Last month Philip Hammond, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced £540 million in new investment in the UK’s electric vehicle network and in making it easier for road users to purchase EVs.

During his Autumn Budget speech he said: “Our future vehicles will be driverless, but they’ll be electric first. And that’s a change that needs to come as soon as possible”.

The full RAC Foundation report can be read here.

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