Government needs to extend charger network in rural and remote areas

Scottish Liberal Democrat energy spokesperson Liam McArthur has today warned that the Scottish Government needs to drive investment in electric car charging points beyond the central belt and said that a failure to do so risks driving people back to petrol and diesel cars.

A new Transport Scotland report published today notes: 

  • “Scotland is now at a tipping point... the number of public charge points will need to increase rapidly to accommodate the number of electric vehicles which will be on the road”.
  • “Whilst an important driver of early uptake, the provision of free to use public charge points, through the ChargePlace Scotland network needs to change; more sustainable financing models are required to remove barriers to private sector investment.” 
  • “the need for chargepoint hosts to review current pricing policies and electric vehicle charging tariffs to reduce public subsidy” 

Mr McArthur said:

"It is abundantly clear from looking at countries like The Netherlands, that we are way behind with our rollout of high speed charging points.

"The risk if this is left entirely to the market to address we’ll see a profusion of charging points in the central belt but a network that is wholly inadequate in other  parts of Scotland.

“To give people confidence to make the switch, we need a network of well-maintained rapid chargers. A failure to deliver this expansion risks undermining our efforts to reduce emissions and meet out climate targets. 

“If we are to tackle our stubborn transport emissions, we need a government that is prepared to go the extra mile. 

“Scottish Liberal Democrats want a new legal presumption by the end of the Parliament that every new vehicle purchased for the public sector will be low carbon. We want to see new measures to make it easier to integrate chargers into streetlights or other street furniture as technology allows, and a requirement for new developments to include charging points as standard.”


Notes to editors: 

The report can be found here.

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