Scotland's use of electric car charging points doubles

The use of electric car charging points across Scotland has more than doubled in the last year.

There are now 3,575 registered electric cars in Scotland. Picture: CC

Chargers were used 26,119 times during August this year, up from 12,939 in the same month in 2015 and nine times the usage in August 2014 - 2,885.

Figures released in the summer showed there were 3,575 electric cars and vans licensed in Scotland, compared to 2,050 in the previous year.

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There are 870 public and commercial charging points in the ChargePlace Scotland network with a total of 1,772 connectors or sockets between them, up from 694 charge points and 1,373 sockets a year earlier.

According to ChargePlace Scotland, the majority of public charge points will fully charge most electric vehicles in between four and eight hours. Rapid chargers - which make up 18% of the charging total - can charge cars up to 80% in half-an-hour.

Despite the overall increase in usage, a quarter of charging points around the country were not used at all during August 2016.

Of 76 charge points in Glasgow, 68 were used in August, while of 68 in Edinburgh only 46 were used at least once during the month.

The lowest usage was in Dumfries and Galloway where just eight of 20 charging points were used in August.

Experts believe sites with rapid chargers are being used more often than others.

The figures were revealed as part of RAC Foundation analysis of data collected from the ChargePlace Scotland network. The data does not include domestic charge points.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “They say that when it comes to buying a house, location, location, location is everything. So it goes with electric charge points. Facilities need to be in places where people will use them.

“But there’s something more. The evidence suggests that it is rapid chargers that are getting a disproportionate amount of use, which bears out the view that improving the convenience and speed of ‘filling’ up with electricity is mission critical to the wider take-up of these vehicles.”