EV charge point use in Scotland up by almost a half19 Dec 2017

The use of electric vehicle charge points in Scotland has increased by 43% in a year.

Charge points across the country were used 37,433 times during August 2017, compared with 26,119 times in the same month a year earlier.

A year before that, in August 2015, there were 12,939 charging sessions.

Despite the overall increase in usage there was still almost a quarter (23%) of charge points that were not used at all during August 2017.

This is only slightly less than the 25% that went unused in August 2016.

(A full table of charge points and their usage listed by local authority follows below.)

The total number of charge points across the country also increased over the 12-month period.

As of August 2017, there were 1,133 charge points in the ChargePlace Scotland network with a total of 2,089 connectors (sockets) between them.

This compares with 870 charge points and 1,772 connectors a year earlier.

At the end of September 2017 there were 6,284 electric cars and vans licensed in Scotland eligible for the UK government’s plug-in car and van grant schemes. This compares with 4,020 such vehicles licensed at the end of September 2016.

The figures are revealed as part of RAC Foundation analysis of data collected by the ChargePlace Scotland network.

The bulk of the charge points in the ChargePlace Scotland network are publicly accessible though some are located on private commercial premises and will have limited, if any, public availability.

The analysis does not include domestic charge points also funded by ChargePlace Scotland.

Rapid chargers made up 16% of chargers but were used for 49% of all charging sessions.

According to ChargePlace Scotland the “network consists of different types of charge points from 7-22kW type 2 units which will charge a vehicle in a couple of hours, to 43kW+ Rapid charges which can charge an Electric Vehicle in as little as 20 minutes.”

The top ten charge points by usage were all rapid chargers and accounted for 13% of all charging sessions in August 2017. Eight of the top ten charge points – including the top three – were in Dundee.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“Scotland may be on the cusp of a motoring revolution, but step-changes in electric vehicle technology must be matched by equally big strides in recharging infrastructure.

“It is pleasing to see the use rapid chargers are getting. But the stubbornly high number of charge points that get little or no use shows that we still need to think not just about the total amount of charging infrastructure but what type it is and where it is located.

“Few of the owners of Scotland’s 2.8 million cars and vans think twice about the process of refuelling with petrol or diesel: pull onto a forecourt, flip the filler cap, insert the nozzle and a couple of minutes later the job’s done. Only when we get close to the same ease of use for electric cars will we truly enable a mass market for them.”

Charge point usage by Local Authority, August 2017:

Local Authority

Charge Points

Connectors

Charge points used at least once

% of charge points used at least once

Aberdeen City 60 116 54 90%
Aberdeenshire 32 60 24 75%
Angus 27 46 21 78%
Argyll & Bute 35 66 15 43%
Clackmannanshire 13 27 11 85%
Dumfries & Galloway 13 30 11 85%
Dundee City 85 174 76 89%
East Ayrshire 13 28 7 54%
East Dunbartonshire 4 9 3 75%
East Lothian 25 35 16 64%
East Renfrewshire 8 17 8 100%
Edinburgh, City of 90 151 68 76%
Eilean Siar 22 50 15 68%
Falkirk 20 31 17 85%
Fife 79 147 64 81%
Glasgow City 88 180 73 83%
Highland 55 118 38 69%
Inverclyde 10 22 10 100%
Midlothian 28 52 23 82%
Moray 15 33 12 80%
North Ayrshire 15 29 13 87%
North Lanarkshire 32 47 26 81%
Orkney Islands 23 43 20 87%
Perth & Kinross 48 112 43 90%
Renfrewshire 37 67 26 70%
Scottish Borders 40 68 23 57%
Shetland Islands 12 24 7 58%
South Ayrshire 19 37 15 79%
South Lanarkshire 101 119 69 68%
Stirling 36 66 27 75%
West Dunbartonshire 20 41 17 85%
West Lothian 16 32 14 88%
Unknown 12 12 12 100%

 

Total 1,133 2,089 878 77%

Contact:

Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

philip.gomm@racfoundation.org | 020 7747 3445 | 07711 776448 | 020 7389 0601 (ISDN)

Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.

The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist. All the Foundation’s work is available at: www.racfoundation.org

The full report is available to download here:

www.racfoundation.org/assets/rac_foundation/content/downloadables/Scotland_EV_Network_Makwana_Dec_17.pdf