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27 February 2023, 10:55

Unlocking the Potential of EV Charging in Scotland: Addressing Challenges and Opportunities

Unlocking the Potential of EV Charging in Scotland: Addressing Challenges and Opportunities

Discover the current landscape of EV charging across Scotland and the disparities that experts are calling a 'postcode lottery.' In this in-depth analysis, we explore the challenges faced by various local authorities, emphasizing the need for a strategic approach to charging infrastructure.

Key Findings:

  1. Postcode Lottery Warning: Experts highlight the uneven distribution of electric vehicle charging points, branding it a 'postcode lottery.' Some areas excel, such as East Lothian and Dundee, while major cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh face challenges. Notably, East Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire rank among the poorest performers.

  2. Infrastructure Issues: Councils are criticized for failing to provide reliable public chargers. Broken infrastructure and misuse of free charging contribute to the problem. Dr. Euan McTurk from Plug Life Consulting reveals the root causes, including expired maintenance contracts, lack of designated charging infrastructure officers, and delayed decision-making processes.

  3. Missed Opportunities: Some councils are accused of missing funding opportunities that could have resulted in hundreds of free charge points. Despite warnings about the unreliability of certain charger makes and models, tenders are awarded to these companies, exacerbating ongoing issues.

  4. Call for Commercial Operators: Neil Swanson, Director of the Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) Scotland, emphasizes the urgent need for commercial operators to accelerate the roll-out of charging infrastructure. The shift from free-to-use charging to tariffs is strongly recommended to discourage misuse and promote responsible charging behavior.

  5. Tariff Variation: There is a significant variation in charging tariffs across the country. EVA Scotland recommends the adoption of tariffs to ensure responsible usage. ChargingPlace Scotland, responsible for the public network, publishes monthly performance reports, revealing ticket statistics related to various charge point issues.

  6. Network Performance Insights: In January, City of Edinburgh Council witnessed 204 tickets raised, translating to approximately one ticket for every 1000 kW drawn over 159 chargers. Glasgow City Council faced 367 tickets, equating to one ticket for every 1,300 kW drawn.

Way Forward: To address the challenges highlighted, stakeholders are urged to proactively invest in reliable hardware, leverage available grants, and collaborate with commercial operators. A strategic shift towards tariff-based charging is recommended to ensure the sustainability and effectiveness of Scotland's EV charging network."

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