Orkney MSP Liam McArthur today urged the Scottish Government to improve the maintenance and the reliability of the electric vehicle charging network, including rolling out a ‘free-vend’ option when there are faults.
Speaking at oral questions in Holyrood today, Mr McArthur reiterated to the Minister for Transport, Humza Yousaf MSP, the importance of maintaining the electric vehicle network to ensuring public confidence in its reliability.
He asked Mr Yousaf to update of Parliament on what steps the Scottish Government was taking to improve maintenance and “to ensure that, when there are faults, there is an automatic default to free-vend at these charging points?”
The Transport Minister recognised that Orkney is leading the way when it comes to the number of electric vehicles per head of population and added that he thought Mr McArthur’s proposal for free-vend was “worthy of consideration and we [the Scottish Government} are considering it fully.”
Following the exchange, Mr McArthur said:
“If Scotland is to encourage a greater take up of electric and low emissions vehicles there must be progress in improving the reliability of the charging network.
“It is not acceptable that drivers can turn up at charge points to find them out of order or offline. This does nothing to build public confidence and encourage greater take up of electric and hybrid vehicles. As I have said before, if a petrol station was out of order people simply would demand action. EV charge points are no different.
“I welcome the Transport Minister’s acceptance of this point and confirmation that his officials are exploring free-vend. This would provide an assurance to drivers that in the event of faults they will not be left abandoned. We now need to see progress being made as part of the expansion of the charging network across the country.”