The electric vehicle charging station fund aims to promote sustainable travel


Scotland’s network of electric vehicle charging stations is set to be boosted with the launch of a new fund to support sustainable travel in the tourism industry.

The £325,000 Tourism recovery fund for electric vehicle charging stations, as part of the Destination Net Zero program, will support approximately 100 charging stations by offering tourism businesses up to 75% of the cost of installation.

It will be administered by Energy Saving Trust on behalf of the national tourism organisation, VisitScotland, and the Scottish Government, and is open to all small and medium-sized tourism enterprises (SMEs).

The number of new plug-in vehicles registered in the UK has increased significantly in recent years. In March, 22.2% of new vehicles registered were electric, bringing the number of electric vehicles on the road to more than 700,000.

While 72% of Scottish residents use their own petrol/diesel car when taking breaks and holidays in Scotland, according to VisitScotland research, 43% are interested in going electric/hybrid “in the next few years “, with sufficient price and fears. charging stations among the main obstacles.

The UK has over 50,000 EV connectors in 18,000 different locations, 10% of which are in Scotland, which has the highest number of public charging stations per population (per 100,000 people).

Energy Saving Trust has mapped the location of electric vehicle charging stations on some of Scotland’s most popular driving routes, on behalf of VisitScotland.

It found a total of 1,933 charging stations within a five-mile radius of a tourist route, which includes South West Coast 300, North East Coast 250 and North Coast 500. VisitScotland will encourage businesses in the areas where electric vehicle charging stations are limited to applying for the fund. .

Tourism Minister Ivan McKee said: “The Scottish Government is fully committed to meeting our ambitious climate change targets and reaching net zero by 2045.

“This funding will play an important role in helping businesses install the charging stations, which will make driving an electric car even more attractive, as well as decarbonising the transport system across Scotland.”

Rob Dickson, Director of Industry and Destination Development at VisitScotland and Chairman of the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG), said: “Tackling climate change is the biggest challenge facing Scottish tourism now and in the future, and we want to inspire future generations to say that Scottish tourism has led the way and made a difference.

“Taking action on climate change will not only reduce costs and build resilience, but meet growing consumer demand for responsible and sustainability-focused businesses”

Neil Leckie, Senior Program Manager at Energy Saving Trust, added: “We know that recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic and transitioning to a greener and more sustainable way of operating are important priorities for the tourism industry. Scottish.

“We are delighted to provide this new funding which will support businesses in the transition to electric vehicles and give a boost to sustainable travel as a whole, helping Scotland achieve its net zero targets.”

The fund will provide a one-time payment to tourism businesses for the installation of an electric vehicle charging station. The funding available is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Applications are open from today and will close on September 8.

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