Further improvements needed to electric vehicle charging network, says McArthur

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has urged the Scottish Government to show leadership to ensure improvements in Scotland’s electric vehicle charging network.

Despite an increase in the availability of rapid and other charge points across the country over recent years, there are increasing concerns about the way in which these are serviced and maintained.

Mr McArthur wants action to ensure necessary repairs to charge points are carried out quickly and efficiently.

Speaking in Holyrood yesterday (November 14) Mr McArthur told MSP’s that “we are already seeing the network expand across the country, which is very welcome, but a greater focus on reliability is still needed.”

Orkney Renewable Energy Forum’s has recently produced a good practice guide to help maximise the value of investment in EV charging infrastructure by ensuring charge points are located in the most appropriate sites. Mr McArthur said they “deserve credit for their work” and has shared the guide with the Transport Minister and Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

Responding during the debate, the Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse confirmed that he is reviewing the strategy on EVs, developed jointly by government and industry, and that he will “examine maintenance in the context of that review”.

Following the exchanges in Holyrood, Orkney’s MSP said:

“It is good news that ownership of electric vehicles is going up, largely because of reduced costs and technological advances. Indeed, Orkney can lay claim to having the highest number of electric vehicles per head of population of anywhere in the country.

“However, too often people turn up to the charge points only to find them out of order. These faults can last sometimes last for days if not weeks. This would not be acceptable in terms of petrol stations and should not be when it comes to EV charge points.

“At present, councils, manufacturers and the operator, Charge Your Car, invariably point the finger of blame at one another, often with some justification. However, this just serves to illustrate why a different approach is needed.

“Emissions from transport have remain largely static over the last three decades. Increasing the take up of EVs is part of what we need to do to help cut emissions in future. That will only happen if the public has confidence that the necessary infrastructure is in place and working properly.”


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