Scotland’s first electric highway is being created along the A9.
The move, which will see roadside charging points installed between Perth and Scrabster Harbour, has been hailed as a major boost for tourism.
The plan was unveiled by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who said the road would demonstrate that electric vehicles (EV) offer important advantages to motorists in rural – as well as urban – Scotland.
It is part of an ambitious strategy to phase out new-build diesel and petrols cars and vans over the next 14 years.
On Tuesday morning, the first part of the Electric A9 scheme was unveiled at Skiach Services in Inverness.
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Transport Scotland is working on the plan with the Energy Saving Trust.
Senior programme manager Ellie Grebenik said: “As the adoption of electric vehicles is becoming increasingly popular across both private and business use, having convenient charging infrastructure is key.
“The Electric A9 project further strengthens the national network of chargepoints that are vital in supporting the growing number of EV drivers in Scotland enjoying substantial fuel cost savings.”
She has encouraged companies to apply for grant funding to install charging points on their land. Organisations can also apply for cash through a Low Carbon Transport Loan.
Cabinet Transport Secretary Michael Matheson welcomed the launch. “It is fantastic to see businesses take advantage of available support to install EV chargepoints.
“In addition to providing grant funding for businesses, we have more than doubled the Low Carbon Transport Loan for 2018/19 in order to satisfy demand and allow more businesses and individuals to make the switch to EVs than ever before.”
He added: “The Electric A9 signals to the world that Scotland is ready to charge ahead with EVs.
“We’ve made a bold commitment to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032 – and having the right infrastructure in the right place will help us secure that ambition.
“We will continue to develop both the Electric A9 and ChargePlace Scotland which, with almost 1,000 chargepoints, is bringing EV charging to people and places across Scotland.”