Rapid Charge Points (Electric Vehicles)

General Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament am ar 9 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Stuart McMillan Stuart McMillan Scottish National Party

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on how it is working to increase the number of rapid charge electric vehicle points. (S6O-03416)

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

Thanks to investment by this Government, Scotland has almost 5,000 public EV charge points and is on target to have 6,000 by 2026. That is in addition to the 20,000 domestic and business chargers that were funded by the Scottish Government as part of the wider charging mix. Scotland also has the most rapid charge points of any region in the United Kingdom per head of population.

In 2023, I announced the publication of Scotland’s vision for public EV charging, highlighting the need for a transition towards a network that is largely financed and delivered by the private sector. In 2024, the private sector is forecast to invest £40 million to £55 million in public EV charging in Scotland. The Government is investing £30 million through our EV infrastructure fund and is prioritising areas of Scotland that are less likely to attract private investment, including rural and island communities.

On 1 May, I was pleased to launch BT’s first ever pilot in the UK, in Haddington, using converted green telecom cabinets on our streets to support on-street charging points for houses without drives and in outer areas of town. That is another great example of partnership work with the private sector on EV chargers.

Photo of Stuart McMillan Stuart McMillan Scottish National Party

In Inverclyde, we have access to very few rapid charge points. Some of them are currently out of use, which puts people off moving to electric vehicles, in addition to the issue of the limited available parking in the constituency, which also has an adverse effect on people with electric vehicles.

Does the cabinet secretary agree that we need to increase the number of EV charging points, particularly rapid charge points, to show that the infrastructure is very much fit to manage the expected increase in the use of electric vehicles over the coming years?

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

Indeed. Reliable and convenient rapid charging is critical to supporting EV adoption. We are already seeing significant growth in rapid charging across Scotland and, thanks to the Scottish Government’s early interventions, Scotland has one of the largest public EV charging networks in the UK.

We need to build on that strong foundation at pace and scale in order to meet future needs. That is why, through our EV infrastructure fund, we have been supporting local authorities, including Inverclyde Council, to continue to increase the number of EV charge points that are available. Local authorities such as Inverclyde Council understand their local needs best and will play a crucial role in the future expansion of EV infrastructure.

Last year, the UK Government introduced regulations requiring all public charge points to meet specific reliability standards. I encourage all charge point owners to ensure that they comply with the regulations so that they provide EV drivers with the reliable services that they have the right to expect.

Photo of Alison Johnstone Alison Johnstone Green

Let us keep questions and answers concise, please.

I call Pauline McNeill.