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Top 5 fixes to improve Scotland’s EV infrastructure

Dec 4, 2023 | Blogs

In their November 2022 report, public sector infrastructure body the Scottish Futures Trust suggested that councils should end free or very low-cost EV charging.

They knew that competing against reduced tariffs was putting the private sector off investing in Scotland’s network. And they recognised that private sector investment into the public EV charging network was crucial if they wanted it to grow at scale and pace.

They were also mindful of how important the transition towards a decarbonised transport system was to achieving net zero by 2045.

One year on from that report, and we’ve certainly seen an uplift in activity since the SFT report, in terms of private sector investment.

The UK as a whole has also shown good progress, with a 37% increase in the number of public charging points from April 2022 to April 2023.

This all points to a positive future for the country’s EV drivers. In fact, earlier this year, Ernst & Young’s EV Country Readiness Index declared that the UK was the fifth best-prepared market in the world for the electric vehicle transition – although EY’s head of automotive also warned against complacency, saying there is “a long way to go”.

So how could the UK make its EV infrastructure better? Here’s the top 5 things we think could help.

  1. In a recent YouGov survey, half of UK EV drivers said they come across broken public chargers at least one in every four times they try to charge. Over 1 in 20 claim the public chargers they want to use are ‘always broken’.

    For drivers to have the confidence to switch to an EV, that perception needs to change.

  2. FOR:EV have committed to installing market leading chargers of the highest possible power at every location to ensure the shortest charging time.
  3. User friendliness. Having to download a different app for every type of charging point isn’t ideal, and it also relies on there being a 4G mobile signal. For chargers that rely on using an app, no 4G could mean no charge for your customer.

    That’s why FOR:EV chargers don’t need users to have an app – they work on a simple, user friendly ‘tap and go’ basis.

  4. Councils should lead the way. We believe the public sector should be setting an example when it comes to charging infrastructure. For inspiration, look at Dundee City Council, which has installed more chargers than any other local authority in the UK and is home to 90% of the most-used charging points in Scotland.

    We understand how tight council budgets are just now, so that’s why we take care of everything, from installation to operation and maintenance, at no upfront cost. Because we can rent or lease parking bays, our EV charging hubs can even provide public sector organisations with an income stream.

  5. More incentives to buy an EV. Norway has the highest EV adoption in the world at 81%, due in part to generous incentives to make EVs more affordable.

A higher EV adoption rate is crucial, as higher demand for charging would encourage more investment in charging infrastructure. One reason many rural areas lag behind in providing charging infrastructure is because EV adoption is still relatively low, and fewer customers mean a longer time until the upfront investment needed to install a charging point pays off.