Electric future for A9 and beyond
Further support has been announced by the Scottish Government in support of the ambitious commitment to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.
The overall budget for the popular Low Carbon Transport Loan, has increased from £8m to £20m for 2018/19, allowing more businesses and consumers to make the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) than ever before.
To further accelerate the transition of EVs into public sector fleets, the Switched on Fleets budget has been quadrupled from £1.2 million to £4.8 million in 2018/19. Additionally, a new funding stream, the Switched on Towns and Cities Challenge Fund has been announced. Through intensive action, it is designed to enable a step-change in the uptake of EVs in Scotland’s towns and cities.
Launching Electric A9 Project
Minister for Transport Humza Yousaf attended Falkirk Stadium, the future site of an EV charging hub being funded through Transport Scotland’s European Regional Development Fund Low Carbon Travel and Transport Programme, to launch the Electric A9 project and announce the range of new funding streams on offer. He said:
“The Electric A9 will greatly expand and build further resilience into our existing ChargePlace Scotland infrastructure, which is already one of the most comprehensive in Europe. From the site of the planned hub here in Falkirk and all the way to Scrabster, visitors and local communities will be able to benefit from multiple charge place hubs across the route.
“Our ambitions, however, stretch even further than the longest road in Scotland. We want every town and city to enjoy the benefits of EVs and this requires an even wider charging network. The new Switched on Towns and Cities Challenge Fund will support local authorities and partners to implement activities to incentivise the uptake of EVs in urban areas.
“We have more than doubled the amount of loan funding we currently offer to individuals and businesses, and have quadrupled the amount of support for public sector fleets so that we can demonstrate leadership and showcase the many benefits of EVs to all of Scotland. Through the Electric A9 and the wider programme announcements, we are committed to securing the opportunities that the global transformation in mobility is creating. With the various funding streams we have on offer and our ambitious plans for the Electric A9 and beyond, I’m proud that Scotland continues to lead the way in supporting and encouraging EVs on to our roads.”
The Scottish Government believes that Electric Vehicles (EVs) are key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality. EVs will have a key role in supporting our renewable energy ambitions and local energy systems. EVs will bring benefits to drivers, communities and the wider environment.
That’s why we’re proud to introduce the Electric A9. Scotland’s longest EV-ready route will stand as a beacon to those at home and abroad. It is a clear signal that EVs are a viable, sustainable option now, and that the provision of this infrastructure clearly supports the Scottish Government’s vision to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.
What is the Electric A9?
The Electric A9 will expand and reinforce Scotland’s existing EV charge place infrastructure. This exemplar project will run along the entire route of the A9. By developing multiple EV charge place hubs along the route, we will help drivers in rural and urban Scotland access the benefits of driving EVs. The Electric A9 will provide EV charging for long distance journeys, local charging for businesses and residents, and charging at your destination.
The Electric A9 EV charge place hubs will be located along the route of the A9 within local communities; between Falkirk Stadium in the south to Scrabster Harbour in the north. Each hub facility will provide multiple charge points and access to associated amenities. At 273 miles (439 km), the A9 is the longest road in Scotland. Historically it was the main road between Edinburgh and John o’ Groats, and has been called the “Spine of Scotland”.
Why are we developing the Electric A9?
The Scottish Government is committed to supporting the uptake of EVs. As detailed in the Programme for Government announcement of 5th September, in order to lead the way on electric vehicles, we plan to expand our electric charging infrastructure between now and 2022, whether in rural, urban or domestic settings. We will continue to build on the actions set out in the “Switched on Scotland Action Plan” launched in June 2017.
When will the Electric A9 be open?
Through ChargePlace Scotland, we already have one of the most comprehensive EV charge networks in Europe; with over 800 publicly available charge points, including over 175 rapid chargers. You will soon see visible signs for the Electric A9 along the A9, including improvements in road signage to guide you to existing charge places. New charge places along the route will be advertised as they go live, so please keep an eye on our twitter feeds @ChargePlaceScot and @transcotland for these exciting additions to ChargePlace Scotland.
Who is delivering the Electric A9?
We will work closely with road operators, energy networks and key stakeholders to develop the trunk road EV network. The Electric A9 will be Scotland’s exemplar EV infrastructure project. But our ambitions go further. Transport Scotland will continue to work with all 32 Scottish local authorities, the Energy Saving Trust and other key stakeholders to deliver a comprehensive network that benefits the whole country.