Electric car charging point use is up nearly half in Scotland

THE use of electric vehicle charging points has increased by 43 per cent in Scotland in the past year, driven by a greater number of electrified cars on the road.

Electric vehicle charging point GETTY

The use of electric vehicle charging points has increased by 43 per cent in Scotland in the pas

Figures released by the RAC Foundation reveal that charge points across Scotland were used 37,433 times in August, compared with 26,119 times in August 2016.

Although more electric vehicle (EV) owners were plugging in, 23 per cent of the 1,133 charge points in the ChargePlace Scotland network were not used at all during August 2017.

However, the number of EVs on Scottish roads has increased in the past year by 56 per cent. In September 2017, there were 6,284 electric cars and vans licensed in Scotland that were eligible for the government’s plug-in car and van grant schemes. This compares with 4,020 EVs in September 2016.

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.

“It is pleasing to see the use rapid chargers are getting. But the stubbornly high number of charge points that get little or no use shows that we still need to think not just about the total amount of charging infrastructure but what type it is and where it is located.

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

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders released earlier this month showed that nationwide, demand for alternatively-fuelled vehicles continued to rise.

Last month, demand for electric cars and plug-in hybrids increased by 33.1 per cent when compared with November 2016, equating to an overall market share of 5.4 per cent. In total, 8,867 new alternatively fuelled vehicles took to British roads.

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