21st March 2023
A decade at the forefront of Scotland’s EV charging policy
Designing a self-sustaining economic model for public EV charging in Scotland.
As the UK’s leading electric vehicle (EV) consultancy, Urban Foresight has shaped national, regional and local policy in public EV charging infrastructure for more than a decade. As the race to go electric accelerates and local policymakers are asked to drive the agenda, the need for our advisory services is greater than ever.
The conversation around public EV charging in Scotland is transitioning from the challenges of establishing a network using public subsidy to creating a self-sustaining network.
The future is a public EV charging network that can pay for its infrastructure, operation and maintenance costs, whilst remaining affordable for the user. This poses a significant challenge for a nascent industry against the backdrop of an energy crisis.
The UK Government’s commitment to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 has created an aggressive timeline for the development of a reliable and abundant charging network.
It is estimated the UK will require around 280,000 publicly accessible chargers by 2030, 30,000 of which will be needed in Scotland.
In late 2022, the UK Government released a final tranche of public funding to support local authorities in identifying the business case for EV charging in their regions. Urban Foresight is working with ten local authorities across Scotland to develop these business cases.
Our work requires designing innovative business models which work within the complex EV ecosystem. This is leading to new roles for local authorities and opportunities for public-private collaboration.
Gary McRae, Head of Electric Mobility at Urban Foresight commented, “Urban Foresight remains at the forefront of delivering an accessible, affordable and reliable network in Scotland, which attracts private investment and removes the need for public subsidy. We are helping a significant number of local authorities work through what the new vision means for them and how this can be done at the heart of a fair transition.”
Urban Foresight’s long history of supporting industry and government in the EV sector puts it in a unique position to steer regional government on the future of public EV charging.
- In 2012, we established E-cosse, a national partnership of government and industry to make Scotland one of the world’s leading EV countries.
- In 2013, we wrote Switched on Scotland: A Roadmap to Widespread Adoption of Plug-In Vehicles. This strategy firmly placed Scotland at the leading edge of the electric vehicle transition.
- In 2015, we wrote Dundee’s successful bids to the UK government to establish a series of innovative charging hubs. A few years later we collected Dundee’ award when it was named Europe’s Most Visionary EV City, recognising the success of our long-term partnership with Dundee City Council.
- In 2016, we developed a National Framework of Local Incentives for Scottish local authorities. We also advised on the links between energy systems and EVs in support of Scotland’s first integrated energy strategy.
- In 2017, we refreshed the national EV strategy to reflect changes in technology and thinking and supercharge the network for growth.
- In 2018, we conducted the country’s first national EV drivers survey and compiled an evidence base of the benefits of EVs in Scotland. We also wrote the first EV strategy for the Highlands and Islands.
- Since 2020, Urban Foresight has advised over 40 local authorities and regions across the UK on their EV journey, producing detailed strategies and action plans unique to each region’s challenges.
After a over a decade at the forefront of EV policy in Scotland, Urban Foresight is still leading the development of this transport system as it takes its next evolutionary step.