Only 28 electric vehicle chargers were installed in a Scottish Government scheme across a region stretching from Fraserburgh to Dundee in the past year, new figures have shown.
A total of 395 new public charging points were installed across Scotland between June 2021 to May this year on the country’s national electric vehicle charging network.
Of those, 28 were located in the Scottish Parliament’s North East region, which covers Angus, Dundee, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
Conservative MSP Liam Kerr claimed it would take 45 years for the Scottish Government to reach its national target of 30,000 EV chargers by the end of the decade if the “woeful” rollout pace continues.
Government agency Transport Scotland said the country has the UK’s second highest number of electric vehicle public charge-points outside London – and the most rapid charge-points anywhere in the UK.
Mr Kerr said: “The Scottish Government needs to be installing around 4,000 a year across the country to meet its target but they are a million miles away from reaching the target they promised by 2030.
“At the current rate of progress, it could take around 45 years to get to the target of 30,000 chargers which is absolutely shambolic.
“Electric car owners in the north-east are being left stuck at the side of the road which is why the rollout of charging points must be faster not slower.”
Difficulties accessing charging points
In November, journalists from The Courier and The Press and Journal travelled from John O’Groats to Glasgow in an electric van for COP26.
They captured the difficulties in accessing EV charging points as the infrastructure is just not there for huge geographic regions of Scotland.
It comes as the Scottish Government moves to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 to meet climate change targets.
Earlier this year, the Scottish Government established a £60 million fund to double the number of public charging points for electric vehicles in the next few years.
Yet there are currently fewer than 3,000 charging points in Scotland and environmental campaigners said there must be more urgency to build up the number, particularly in rural areas.
Private sector ‘need to play their part’
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “By investing over £50 million, Scotland now has over 2,300 publicly available chargepoints, over 18,000 domestic charge points and a further 1,500 across businesses.
“As a result, Scotland has the UK’s second highest number of electric vehicle public chargepoints outside of London and the most rapid chargepoints anywhere in the UK.
“But it is not just down to government and public agencies to meet demand. The private sector, particularly energy companies and vehicle manufacturers, need to play their part and are increasingly doing so.
“Our new £60m fund is designed to attract private investment and has the potential to double the size of the public charging network in Scotland.
“This partnership approach, which includes local authorities, will help achieve the charging connectivity Scotland needs for the future and deliver our Mission Zero for Transport.”
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