Scots gradually embracing electric car revolution as numbers rise

The Scottish Government has pledged to phase out new petrol cars across Scotland by 2032. Picture: Ian Rutherford
The Scottish Government has pledged to phase out new petrol cars across Scotland by 2032. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Scots are gradually embracing the electric car revolution with the number of chargeable vehicles rising in every council area, analysis has found.

There were just under 10,000 electric or plug-in hybrid cars registered across local authority areas as of November 2018, up from 227 at the end of 2011.

But the accessibility of public charging points still varies greatly across the UK, with experts warning more investment in electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure is required to convince drivers to make the switch away from petrol or diesel engines.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “The EV revolution hasn’t perhaps taken off as quickly as we would have liked but we need a firm commitment to a reliable and more extensive charging infrastructure.”

There are now 1,006 charge points in Scotland, research by the BBC Shared Data Unit found, ranging from 85 in the Highlands and 71 in Glasgow, to just ten in East Dunbartonshire.

Just three councils north of the Border have taken advantage of UK government’s £2.5 million funding pot for the on-street residential chargepoint scheme, which aims to help drivers to charge their vehicle at home.

The Scottish Government said it was already planning for a dramatic acceleration in the number of Scots buying electric vehicles and that the charging network would be upgraded accordingly.

Ministers have pledged to phase out new petrol and diesel cars and vans across Scotland by 2032, eight years ahead of the UK government target.

But the Scottish Greens warned that simply swapping traditional cars for electric would do nothing to ease traffic congestion in towns and cities.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Homeowners and businesses can take advantage of the funding and support we provide to purchase low-emission vehicles.

“Our programme of investments since 2012 means that the number of public chargepoints on the Charge Place Scotland network has grown to almost 1,000.

“We now have one of the most comprehensive charging networks in Europe with an average distance of just over two miles between chargepoints.”