Boost for plug-in vehicles
Published Thursday, 02 August 2012
To boost more low carbon vehicle usage there are now 44 fast charging electric vehicle charging bays across South Lanarkshire.
And with this set to increase to 74 bays in the very near future, the Plugged-in Places scheme will not only not only support the council's own fleet of 14 electric vehicles but will help increase the numbers of electric vehicles being used by the public and local businesses.
This network of intelligent fast charging bays can now be found in a variety of locations, from Lanark and Biggar in rural Clydesdale to the larger towns of East Kilbride, Hamilton and Rutherglen and will charge a vehicle three times faster than by using conventional domestic sockets, reducing the charging time of a vehicle from more than eight hours to less than three - helping address one of the barriers to the mass adoption of electric vehicles.
These 'intelligent' charging posts communicate directly with the car and have advanced safety systems. The information of when each post is used, by whom and how much electricity was used is relayed back and this allows the council the ability to charge the user. However, at present the council will not be charging the public for the electricity used.
The move is part of the UK wide project which aims to develop charging infrastructure throughout the country to support the uptake of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
And Scottish Government Minister for Housing and Transport, Keith Brown MSP, visited South Lanarkshire to see how South Lanarkshire and its community planning partners are helping bring about lower carbon transport for the future. You can watch a film of the visit on our YouTube page.
Keith Brown MSP said: "Over the past two years, the Scottish Government has invested over £8million in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure for the public sector in Scotland and this will play a hugely important part in reaching our world-leading climate change targets.
"Cutting carbon emissions on our roads benefits the whole population. As well as the obvious improvements to air quality, electric vehicles also help to cut noise pollution and they are cheaper to run.
"The move to electric vehicles is not just about saving the environment. Drivers can get from Edinburgh to Glasgow on a single charge for around £1.50 and right now electric vehicles are exempt from road tax. There are also exciting new opportunities for Scottish businesses in the low carbon vehicle sector.
"I look forward to seeing more local authorities follow South Lanarkshire Council's lead and help get more electric vehicles on our roads."
As part of its ambitious climate change targets, the Scottish Government is committed to almost complete de-carbonisation of road transport by 2050, with significant progress by 2030, through the whole scale adoption of low and ultra-low carbon vehicles.
Over the last year, South Lanarkshire Community Planning Partnership has taken part in the Scottish Government's Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Scheme securing grant funding totalling £365,437 to pilot the use of electric vehicles in the public sector.
Through the scheme the council added twelve battery powered electric Peugeot iOn cars to its fleet plus two electric street sweepers and an electric Renault Kangoo van.
Strathclyde Fire & Rescue bought another Peugeot iOn for use at its new community fire station and national training head quarters in Cambuslang, while NHS Lanarkshire has taken on two electric vans to provide services to local hospitals.
The council received grants totalling £325,000 from the Scottish Government, Transport Scotland and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport towards the implementation of its scheme.
Councillor George Greenshields, the depute chair of the council's Community Services Committee said: "We are delighted to be at the forefront of this project and, at this time, our charging network is the largest and most extensive network of public charging stations in Scotland.
"The council is very supportive of the changeover to low carbon vehicles and in particular electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in pursuit of the lowering of emissions and the improvement of our local air quality."