An image of an electric car being charged

SPICe FAQ – Electric car charging

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This is the first Enquiries FAQ post. FAQ posts will focus on issues that we receive regular enquiries on.

A recent enquiry forwarded from a constituency office highlighted current concerns with the lack of electrical car charging ports.

Transport Scotland

 In September 2013 the national transport agency for Scotland, Transport Scotland, published the ‘Switched On Scotland Roadmap’, which set out a long-term vision and strategic approach to advance widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). Chapter 6 of the 2016 review of the Roadmap was on recharging and said that:

“There has been a significant increase in the number and use of charge points in the past few years resulting in Scotland having one of the most comprehensive networks in Europe.

Scotland now has the highest ratio of public charge points per household in the UK after North East England and Northern Ireland.[…] As of August 2016, the ChargePlace Scotland network consisted of over 600 publicly available charge points, equating to over 1,200 charging bays. In addition, over 40 charge points are available in Scotland, through private charge point network operators Ecotricity, Tesla and Chargemaster.”

In 2017 Transport Scotland published ‘Switched On Scotland Phase Two: An Action Plan For Growth’.  The action plan defines the activities that Transport Scotland will undertake in the second phase of implementing the Roadmap, in the period 2017-2020. It contains a set of outcome-focussed actions covering the period 2017-2020, which will collectively help deliver three important impacts:

  • reducing the cost of owning and driving an EV;
  • making EVs a convenient fit with the needs and lifestyles of drivers; and
  • promoting a change in culture whereby EVs are widely recognised as a preferred alternative to fossil fuelled vehicles

ChargePlace Scotland

 ChargePlace Scotland is the national charging network for Scotland. The ChargePlace Scotland website explains that:

“ChargePlace Scotland is a national network of electric vehicle charge points available across Scotland. The ChargePlace Scotland network has been developed by the Scottish Government through grant funding of Local Authorities and other organisations to install publicly available charge points. Recipients of the funding are known as ‘Hosts’. A Host is the designated owner of the charge points they have installed and are also responsible for maintenance and general upkeep of their charge points. The ChargePlace Scotland network is operated on behalf of the Scottish Government by Charge Your Car Ltd.”

SPICe Briefing

The Scottish Government published ‘The draft Climate Change Plan – The draft third report on policies and proposals 2017-2032 ’ on 19 January 2017.

SPICe produced a Briefing which provides some background to the development of the plan, summarises how the Government propose meeting the annual climate targets for the period to 2032, and includes information on hybrids and electric vehicles.

Recent Developments

There have been a number of questions asked in Chamber relating to the Scottish Government’s position on electric vehicles:

Question S5W-12727: Gail Ross, Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 14/11/2017

To ask the Scottish Government how it will roll out electric charging points for vehicles in remote and rural areas, and what the timescale for this work is.

Answered by Humza Yousaf (23/11/2017):

As detailed in September’s Programme for Government announcement, in order to lead the way on, electric vehicles we plan to expand our electric vehicle charging infrastructure between now and 2022, whether in rural, urban or domestic settings. We will continue to build on the actions set out in the “Switched on Scotland” action plan launched in June this year and further announcements on timescales will be made in the coming months.

Question S5W-12169: Andy Wightman, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 24/10/2017

To ask the Scottish Government how it will facilitate the charging of electric vehicles for people who live in tenement properties.

Answered by Humza Yousaf (07/11/2017):

As set out in last month’s Programme for Government announcement, we plan to expand our electric charging infrastructure between now and 2022. This is one of the number of actions to meet the target to phase out the need for petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032. We have already made significant progress in the ChargePlace Scotland charging network. Over the coming months we will set out plans for developing this network, including the development of approaches to charging for people who live in tenement properties.

Emma Robinson, SPICe Enquiries Manager