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by Jenni Davidson
28 September 2018
Ten Scottish councils to receive funding for studies into increasing uptake of electric vehicles

Ten Scottish councils to receive funding for studies into increasing uptake of electric vehicles

Electic cars outside Scottish Borders Council headquarters - Image credit: Scottish Borders Council

Ten councils around Scotland are to receive funding for studies to look at how increase the uptake of electric vehicles in Scotland’s towns and cities.

The feasibility studies, which will be based in one town in each area, are intended to develop a pipeline of potential infrastructure developments across the country.

They will allow the councils to develop a case for future investment, include recommendations on locations for charging points for different user groups such a private family cars, taxis, council fleets and car clubs.

The ten towns to be covered by the studies are Arbroath, Ayr, Dunfermline, Falkirk, Galashiels, Irvine, Kirkintilloch, Musselburgh, Perth and Stornoway, with the studies due to be completed by April 2019.

Different towns will look at how electric vehicle charges will fit in with their own local issues, for example, Musselburgh and Kirkintilloch will consider the impact of forthcoming low emission zones in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Stornoway will look at how to decrease reliance on imported energy and Ayr will consider taxi and private hire care charging points because of its closeness to Prestwick Airport.

The funding is being provided by the Scottish Government and delivered by the Energy Saving Trust as part of the ‘Switched on Towns and Cities’ programme.

In its programme for government for 2018/2019, the Scottish Government announced an intention to deliver 20 ‘electric towns’ before 2025.

This will involve an expansion of the Switched on Towns and Cities Challenge Fund, which can be used for capital investment to promote the use of plug-in electric vehicles.

Round one of the challenge fund was launched in June 2018 and closed for applications at the end of August, with bids currently being assessed.

Matthew Eastwood, Head of Transport at the Energy Saving Trust, said: “We are delighted to be working with Scotland’s local authorities to support the electrification and decarbonisation of road transport. 

“We have been impressed by the strong positive response we have received to date and look forward to supporting their ambitious and innovative plans through the feasibility studies we will deliver.”

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “This is an important step forward in our commitments within the Programme for Government to introduce 20 electric towns before 2025 and to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.

“Working in partnership with local authorities, we will provide support to further develop our already comprehensive charging network.

By increasing the availability of charging infrastructure and further incentivising the use of electric vehicles, we hope to see continued growth in the number of users discovering the benefits of electric vehicles."

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