Electric vehicles: Scotland needs to up its game on charging points – Scotsman comment

The Scottish Government's plan to make charging points for electric cars mandatory for all new-build houses is a welcome step forward. But it is only a baby step.

Scotland can learn from London where electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are becoming an increasingly common sight (Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Scotland can learn from London where electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are becoming an increasingly common sight (Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

With more than 2.6 million dwellings in the country and a pressing need to encourage people to switch from fossil-fuel powered vehicles to electric, much more simply must be done.

Transport minister Jenny Gilruth said that the decision would “help future-proof Scotland’s buildings as we transition to a net-zero transport system”. And that is true, it will “help”.

And it is also true that it will, as she said, support “our ambition of phasing out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030” – the same target as planned by the UK Government.

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But Scotland needs to dramatically up its game if there is to be any chance at all of meeting that deadline, just eight years away.

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The need for charging points at the roadside in our cities is particularly pressing, given that drivers’ understandable anxiety about becoming stranded with a flat battery is one of the factors discouraging some from making the switch.

The Scottish Government also needs to make sure that it is not caught unawares by a sudden shift in the market.

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With petrol and diesel cars on their way out, their resale value may at some point plummet, prompting a flood of proud new EV owners.

However, if they find themselves competing for a limited number of charging points, ministers will doubtless find themselves subjected to a whole new kind of road rage.

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