Orkney Leading the Charge on Electric Vehicles, says McArthur
Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, yesterday used a debate in parliament on Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) to highlight the progress Orkney is making towards carbon free transport.
Orkney currently has over 200 EVs on the road, representing the highest percentage uptake of any community in Scotland. Mr McArthur confirmed the ambition in Orkney to maintain this leadership role, across all forms of transport, pointing out that projects are already well under way to develop the next generation of hydrogen-powered ferries, while discussions about low-emission alternatives in our lifeline air services are also taking place.
Mr McArthur also took the opportunity of identifying problems with the current network of charge points and the performance of Charge Place Scotland, who manage the system. Orkney’s MSP explained that without a reliable system for logging and dealing with faults in the network, it would be difficult to build public confidence and expand the take up of EVs. Mr McArthur called for EV users to be given a say in setting the terms of the new contract for managing the charge point network:
Commenting after the debate, Mr McArthur said:
“I am proud of the fact that Orkney is leading the charge in Scotland when it comes to the uptake of low emission vehicles. It is also good to see the ambition locally in the Council and groups such as the Orkney Renewable Energy Forum to go further, with plans to expand the fleet of low emission buses and develop hydrogen-powered ferries. There are even discussions about reducing the emissions from our lifeline air services.
“To make all that happen, however, will require a more flexible and long-term approach to public funding. We also need to see the Scottish Government scale up its ambitions, aspiring to match the achievements of countries such as the Netherlands and Norway that have been leading the way over recent years.
“One area where Ministers must be looking to take urgent action is in relation to the reliability of the current charge point network for EVs. While the recent expansion of the network is welcome, too often Charge Place Scotland appear unable to log faults effectively and ensure they are dealt with in a timely fashion. This needs to be addressed in negotiations over a new contract and EV users must have an input into that process."
Notes to Editors: You can watch Liam’s speech in its entirety here.