Electric car charger use in Scotland doubles

Electric car charger use in Scotland doubles
Scotland's use of electric car charging points has doubled in the past year.

Chargers were used 26,119 times during August this year, up from 12,939 in the same month in 2015.

Furthermore it was nine times the usage in August 2014 – when chargers were used 2,885 times.

There are 3,575 electric cars and vans licensed in Scotland, according to recent figures – a significant rise on the 2,050 licensed in the previous year.

Drivers can choose from 870 public and commercial charging points across the ChargePlace Scotland network compared to 694 a year earlier.

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

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Of 76 charge points in Glasgow, 68 were used in August. But in Edinburgh just 46 of 68 points 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.

Experts believe sites with rapid chargers, which can charge cars up to 80% in half-an-hour, are being used more often than others.

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

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Lang Banks, director of conservation group WWF Scotland, welcomed the news.

He said: "Independent analysis has shown that for Scotland to meet its future climate change targets by 2030 one in three cars, and half of all buses, will need to be electric, in line with the long-term need to phase out fossil-fuel vehicles entirely.

"The Scottish Government's forthcoming energy strategy and climate action plans provide the ideal opportunities to bring forward the policies needed to deliver such a transformation."

Demand for electric, hybrid and hydrogen cars in the UK has increased by 12.4% year-on-year, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

And the numbers could soon rise as new incentives to encourage people to buy electric vehicles could include cheaper parking and allowing access to bus lanes as well as exemptions from other restrictions such as one way systems, and priority at traffic lights, the government has said.

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.