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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-03954
Asked by: Liam McArthur, Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Date lodged: 26 October 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government how many electric vehicle charging units have been installed in each of the last five years in places where commercial operators had not started to invest, also broken down by local authority area.  

Current status: Answered by Graeme Dey on 9 November 2021


Answer

Over the past decade the Scottish Government has invested over £50 million in ChargePlace Scotland, a publicly available network of electric vehicle charging infrastructure which now consists of over 2,000 charge points across Scotland. This has enabled us to create a comprehensive network ahead of demand. The majority of investment has been delivered through local authorities, who are responsible for planning the roll out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, taking into account local needs and considering existing and projected demand within their area.

Until recently, commercial investment in charge points has been restricted due to factors such as uncertain returns on investment as the market for electric vehicles matures. As a result, any investments will have been limited to locations with unique market characteristics.

Over the summer we published a joint report with the Scottish Futures Trust setting out the opportunities for growth of the electric vehicle public charging market. The report noted that increased levels of commercial investment can now be anticipated in many parts of Scotland, and will indeed be required as demand for electric vehicles increases. The report also explores areas where the commercial market will be slower to mature, and the role of public sector in such circumstances.

Transport Scotland are working with Scottish Futures Trust and industry to consider the most appropriate structures and approach to growing and developing charging infrastructure, lever commercial investment and engaging commercial operators to develop the public electric vehicle charge point network at scale and at speed across all of Scotland.

While the Scottish Government doesn’t hold specific information on where commercial investments are planned across Scotland, the Scottish Transport Statistics that are published annually provide information on the number of ChargePlace Scotland charge points by local authority area.