By Scottish Energy News E-motoring correspondent
Battery-powered-car drivers across Scotland will be able to plug in to an improved charging network thanks to a new agreement between Transport Scotland and Charge Your Car.
CYC has won a £750,000 contract to operate the Charge Place Scotland network of 550 battery-powered vehicle (BPV) charge points. Key benefits include:
- New 24-hour / 365-day dedicated Charge Place Scotland customer helpline
- Enhanced fault management system
- Dedicated Charge Place Scotland network manager based in Scotland
- New Charge Place Scotland website, Twitter and Facebook accounts to enhance customer communications
The Charge Place Scotland network of publicly available BPV charge points is funded by Transport Scotland. It now comprises almost 1,100 bays (equating to over 550 charge points) across Scotland.
In the year to 31 March 2016, the network delivered around 1,220,000 kWh of electricity.
Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “We have laid out a clear vision of freeing towns, cities and communities from emissions from fossil-fuelled vehicles by 2050.
“Our aim is to encourage more individuals and businesses to make the switch to BPVs which is why we are continuing to invest in growing and operating the network across the country, spanning from the Hebrides to the Borders.”
The issue of easily- and widely-available electricity charging-stations for BPVs is a major ‘push-pull’ factor for consumers when considering buying a battery-powered-vehicle. No driver wants to run out of gas – or electricity – on a remote road, far from a fuelling station.
Although the vast majority of BPVs are still currently bought by fleet buyers, the Nissan Leaf also make a BPV-taxi version, while, at the other end of the consumer scale, Tesla is pushing the ‘one-charge’ range of its BPVs.
Also, at the Tesla-end of BPV cars, vehicle manufacturers have managed to make performance certainly as good as – or possibly even better- than comparatively-rated ICE-vehicles (Internal Combustion Vehicles), with acceleration from 0-60mph in under four seconds, which is in the same ball-park as 12-litre V6 Jaguar sportsters.
For this kind of performance, and a range of up to 250 miles ‘per electric tank’ BPVs are retailing from around £50,000 each.
But with the prospect of free ‘glow your own’ DIY electricity from domestic solar power panels on his/her house, then this kind of BPV may appeal in particular to the ‘green-minded’ driver.
With a new Tesla showroom recently opened in Scotland in an Edinburgh shopping arcade, the race is now very much on for the ultimate in green-motoring one-upmanship.
And, taken to its logical conclusion, a low-carbon, mass-roll out and consumer take-up of BPVs – charged up by ‘home-grown’ solar PV power – is going to leave a very large whole in government finances if there are no petroleum taxes – nor VAT on these petrol taxes!