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Is Scotland Really the UK’s EV Charging Station Leader?

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Scotland emerged as a frontrunner among all UK regions with the highest density of public EV charging station infrastructure according to new data from the Department for Transport analysed by EV experts from LeaseElectricCar.

The data looked at the concentration of public rapid charging devices per 100,000 people, and the UK’s regional ranking is as follows: Scotland: 19.2, West Midlands: 14.7, South East: 13.5, North East: 13.3, South West: 13.2, East Midlands: 12.8, Yorkshire and the Humber: 12.7, Wales: 12.2, East of England: 11.6, London: 10.7, North West: 9.9, Northern Ireland: 3.

In response to the report, Grant MacLennan, co-founder of Bypass, which monitors UK charging networks said: “We do have a lot of charges per population, but the other side of the story is Charge Place Scotland is notoriously flaky.”

MacLennan’s claim is bolstered by the BBC, who did spot-checks on Scotland’s public EV charging points in 2022. It found that over a six week period, of the 2,200 chargers tested, nearly a quarter (535) of them had issues. In response, Transport Scotland claimed by its own measurement, there was only a 2% fault rate.

“So if the figure was number of working charges per head of population, Scotland would be much, much lower in that categorization,” said MacLennan.

The report’s findings, along with the existing network’s hit-or-miss nature highlight the disparities in EV charging infrastructure across the UK, raising concerns about the UK Government’s ability to meet the ambitious goal of 300,000 public charging points in place across Britain by 2030. 

With under 50,000 in place at the moment, the government would need to increase its average monthly installations by roughly 215% to meet this target. 

“It’s shocking to see the low numbers of rapid charging devices available to the public in each region given how soon the deadline is for the ban on selling new petrol and diesel cars in just seven years time,” said Tim Alcock from LeaseElectricCar, one of the experts analysing the data.  

“However, it has recently been revealed that the government is not expected to reach this target, as less than a quarter of service stations along motorways currently have the target number,” he said. 


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The need for EV charging hubs comes on the backdrop of more than 37.4 million EVs expected to be on the streets in the UK by the year 2050 according to a report, compared to the roughly 690,000 registered in the UK at the moment. 

Leading the race in EV charging point infrastructure is the Scottish city of Dundee. The city has installed over 373 charging points since 2011, more than any other local authority in the UK, and  9/10 of the highest used charging points in Scotland are in the city.

The Scottish EV sector also received significant funding recently, as Glasgow-based Allied Vehicles Group landed £1.3 million from Scottish Enterprise. Of that funding part of it will focus on the development of an electronics package for low-emissions taxis, such as those needed in Glasgow’s low emission zone.

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