Maybe it's Scotland's really long name for its audacious all-plug-in plan from 2013 that put people off. Or maybe it's just that people are charging at home. Whatever it is, there are a bunch of plug-in vehicle recharging stations throughout the country that are rather lonely because of lack of use. So it goes for a country with just 1,100 electric vehicles.

Almost half of Scotland's plug-in vehicle recharging stations don't get used over the course of a month, according to the Royal Automobile Club affiliate RAC Foundation. Tracking the 482 recharging stations operated by ChargePlace Scotland during the month of August 2014, RAC Foundation found that about half sat unused. Plug-in vehicle drivers engaged in almost 2,900 charging sessions that month, meaning that the typical station was only used about once every five days. There's a caveat here, in that a "good portion" of those stations are only privately accessible. Still, the numbers indicate that the charging infrastructure may be far less an issue than sheer indifference to plug-in vehicles.

As for that 2013 plan, that was called (take a breath) Switched On Scotland: A Roadmap to Widespread Adoption of Plug-in Vehicles. And that program called for a total ban on gas- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2050. Take a look at the RAC Foundation's press release below.
Show full PR text
Electric car charge point use in Scotland
Feb 13 2015

All charged up?

Almost half of Scotland's electric vehicle charging units are going unused from month to month, official data suggests.

Figures for August 2014 show that of the 482 units in the ChargePlace Scotland network, 217 (45%) were not plugged into at all during that month. The remaining 265 (55%) were used at least once.

However in the same month, all the charging units in the City of Edinburgh (38 units), Falkirk (9 units) and Stirling (9 units) were used at least once.(The full list of charging unit usage by local authority is in Table 1 in Notes to Editors.) In August 2014 there were a total of 2,885 individual charging sessions. There are now about 1,100 electric cars and vans in Scotland. Of these 2,885 charging sessions, 46% took place in three cities:

1) City of Edinburgh (494 sessions)
2) Dundee City (459 sessions)
3) Glasgow City (365 sessions)

The RAC Foundation analysed data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from Transport Scotland. ChargePlace Scotland is the initiative behind Scotland's free charge point network.

Not all the charge points in the ChargePlace Scotland network are publically accessible as they were installed under the commercial workplace scheme. The data analysed refers to both the commercial and public charge point usage.

The most heavily used charging unit was at Janet Brougham House, Dundee. It recorded 103 charging sessions in August 2014. However, this location is not a publically accessible charge point as it is located in a care home.

The next most heavily used locations were Victoria Quays (80 sessions) and Ingliston Park and Ride (61 sessions) in Edinburgh.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

"The encouraging news is that electric car sales in the UK are at last showing signs of improvement, but we still have a charging network in Scotland that is running below capacity.

"Part of the reason for installing public charge points is to help drivers overcome their fear of range anxiety but this does not come cheap.

"This data also suggests a good proportion of charge points are located on private premises including council sites. This is encouraging as it was always envisaged that fleet operators would lead the way in the electric revolution.

"Ultimately we hope our analysis will give an indication of where further money should be spent and where extra infrastructure might be needed."

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