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Charging up change: Scottish Government releases vision for its future charging network

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The Scottish Government has release its new ‘vision’ for the future of public electric vehicle (EV) charging network in Scotland.

Following a draft publication in January 2022, the finalised Vision for Scotland’s Public Electric Vehicle Charging Network was published at the close of last week (18 June).

The publication comes in light of a new study which showed that Scotland could have a 16% higher EV uptake than UK Government statistics suggest, according to Transport Scotland.

Self-described as “purposely strategic”, the vision intends to act as a guide for public, private and third sector partners by setting out an ‘ideal’ public charging offer for cars and vans in Scotland.

The vision is structured around five core themes drawn from engagement with a wide range of stakeholders. According to the government, local communities, businesses and visitors are said to be “at its heart”.

These themes include:

  • Comprehensive structure – to ensure a well-designed network providing reliable and easily accessible charging
  • Accessibility – ensuring charging is accessible and affordable for all users
  • Grow private investment – to help the network develop at scale and pace

Key to achieving this vision is sufficient amounts of investment to grow Scotland’s EV charging infrastructure. The vision notes that investment must come from across all segments of the public charging market and in every part of Scotland where charging is needed.

According to the vision, Scotland is already experiencing increasing investment from chargepoint operators.

Image: Transport Scotland.

“The vision sets the standard of how Scotland’s public charging network needs to grow to support the rapidly expanding market of electric vehicles, and to support the needs of our communities, businesses and visitors alike,” said Scotland’s minister for transport, Fiona Hyslop.

“We can be proud of the early investment that the Scottish Government has made in the ChargePlace Scotland network. We have now provided over £65 million to support development of a comprehensive charging network covering all of Scotland.  That network will continue to be vital over the next few years as we transition towards a public charging network that is largely financed and delivered by the private sector. Our Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Fund, that aims to leverage £60 million of public and private investment, is designed to do just that.

“As the network grows, there are also clear opportunities for the private sector to support the operation of existing ChargePlace Scotland charge points under new arrangements, and ensuring this move is seamless and aligned with the vision is critical.”

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