...Courtesy of Giles Blair
Retailers across Scotland are being encouraged to fit multiple new electric vehicle charge points to their forecourts and premises to meet the rising numbers of customers now driving EVs.
The Electric Vehicle Association Scotland says that introducing chargers would provide a positive boost for business while contributing towards reducing harmful emissions in the fight against climate change.
“Retailers can capitalise on the surge in the popularity of electric vehicles by taking advantage of the grants and incentives available to install EV charge points on their premises,” said Neil Swanson, director of EVA Scotland.
“We’ve seen the biggest-ever rise in electric vehicle registrations in Scotland in 2022, with continued falls in diesel and petrol car sales.”
Last year, EV sales rose by over 20%, according to official figures from the Society of Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Last December, EV registrations reached almost 34% of all new vehicles sold – Scotland recording its highest percentage of monthly EV registrations in 2022.
That took all-electric cars into second place behind petrol and ahead of diesel and all other forms of propulsion.
Battery-powered vehicle registrations also rose significantly as fleet operators transitioned to EVs at the expense of diesel machines.
The EVA Scotland director said: “Having EV charge points is already a major attraction to EV-driving shoppers, with many major supermarkets and shopping malls eagerly investigating and investing in the latest technologies.
“Such ‘destination charging’, as it is known, especially benefits those EV owners who have no garage or driveway and are therefore unable to charge at home.”
According to the SMMT, electric vehicle ownership in the UK is forecast to rise from its present 130,000-plus to a predicted two million by next year. In Scotland alone, there was a 53.8% rise in EV ownership last year.
EVA Scotland believes that, with grants and loans still available through national and local government to help with installation costs, Scotland’s retail sector can take the initiative to attract more EV drivers by providing more plug-in points at their premises.
Swanson added: “Some forward-thinking business owners have already realised that having electric vehicle charge points available for visitors is a significant attraction. The benefits can make a real positive contribution to Scotland’s overall economy.
“There has to be a greater determination to go the extra mile and expand the country’s charging infrastructure. Seizing this opportunity surely makes good business sense.
“Having a charging infrastructure with attractive pricing will provide not only an additional income stream for those in the retail sector but also offer the potential to encourage customers to stay longer.”
EVA Scotland is the voice of the electric vehicle movement nationwide, supporting the electrification of all forms of transport. It represents EV users in politics by influencing government policy and in the media.