Scotland spending twice as much as rest of UK on electric vehicle chargers

Scotland is spending twice as much as the rest of the UK on electric vehicle chargers and has the highest density outside London, figures showed today.

An electric charging point.

Transport Scotland said it was providing £10 million this year for expanding publicly-available chargers compared to £5m being offered by the Westminster government for the whole of the UK.

Scotland has 1,743 chargers, or 32 per 100,000 people compared to 22 in England, 17 in Wales and 16 in Northern Ireland, according to the UK Department for Transport (DfT) figures.

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The Scottish figure is also around twice that of most English regions, and only surpassed by London with 49, and outer London with 36.

Transport Scotland said one quarter of charge points north of the Border had rapid chargers compared to fewer than one sixth in England.

Transport secretary Michael Matheson said: “We welcome the publication of this data from the DfT, which confirms the positive impact Scottish ministers’ investment of over £30m in funding to local authorities has had in this area to support our commitments to tackle the climate emergency and improve air quality.

“The UK government making £5m available to local authorities should be welcomed, but is less than half of the over £10m we are investing this year alone to grow, develop and support the network of publicly-available charge points in Scotland.

“The data also shows Scotland is by a considerable margin leading the rest of the UK in supporting the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles by providing vehicle charging infrastructure.

“Drivers in Scotland enjoy greater access to rapid charge points, and outside of London, Scotland provides more charge points per plug-in vehicle than the rest of the UK.”

UK transport secretary Grant Shapps urged councils lagging behind to apply for funding.

He said: “Your postcode should play no part in how easy it is to use an electric car, and I’m determined electric vehicles become the new normal for drivers.

“It’s good news there are now more charging locations than petrol stations, but the clear gaps in provision are disappointing. I urge councils across Scotland to take advantage of all the support on offer to help ensure drivers in their area don’t miss out.”