Transport leaders have tested out one of a newly operational network of on-street electric vehicle chargers in Edinburgh, as the nation marked Scotland’s Climate Week.
Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Michael Matheson joined Edinburgh’s Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Scott Arthur, on the eve of World EV Day, to see one of the new charge points, funded by £2.3 million awarded through the ‘Transport Scotland’s Switched on Towns and Cities Challenge Fund.
In total, 81 new chargers (141 charging bays) were installed and went live this summer across the city, including 41 rapid and fast chargers (72 bays) at on-street locations with the remainder provided at Hermiston and Ingliston Park and Ride sites.
The roll-out is designed to encourage and support the take-up of cleaner, low emission transport like electric vehicles. Motor transport contributes significantly to carbon emissions, and the switch to more sustainable transport is essential to the city’s Net Zero target, which is also a key aim of Scotland’s Climate Week.
Edinburgh City Councillor Scott Arthur, Transport and Environment Convener, said: “I am delighted that we are expanding on-street electric vehicle chargers across the Capital in a way that does not leave footpaths cluttered with cables and chargers. These new chargers will provide convenient charging for residents and visitors alike travelling around the city.
“Increasing the provision for greener technologies such as electric cars is a vital step in our wider plan for decarbonising transport in Edinburgh and for reaching our goal to become a net-zero carbon city by 2030, which is brought into sharp focus during Scotland’s Climate Week.
“Of course, choosing to walk, cycle or use public transport is the best travel decision people can make if they want to help us in our net-zero ambition.”
Scottish government Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson said: “During Scotland’s Climate Week and ahead of World EV Day, I’m pleased to welcome these new EV charge points across Edinburgh to the ChargePlace Scotland network.
“Phasing out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, to help respond to the climate emergency, can only be achieved if drivers have the range confidence that comes from readily available charging infrastructure. These latest charge points help provide that confidence to people who require EV charging in the capital.
“Our previous funding approaches have helped us deliver the most public electric vehicle charging points outside of London, and the most rapid charge points anywhere in the UK. We now want to see greater private sector investment and involvement in line with our draft vision for Scotland’s public EV charging network – delivering more infrastructure faster and in way that is more accessible than ever before.”