The motoring charity’s analysis of the ChargePlace Scotland public network shows that both number and usage of chargepoints is rapidly increasing across Scotland, as more people adopt electric vehicles.
Data from Scotland’s charging network, which was developed by the Scottish Government and local authorities, shows chargepoints were used almost 37,500 times in August 2017, up from the just over 26,000 times during the same month in 2016 and less than 13,000 uses in August 2015.
Meanwhile, the total number of public chargepoints available to drivers also continues to rise, with 1,133 charging stations with a total of just over 2,000 connectors – or sockets – installed in Scotland as of the end of August this year. This compares to the 870 charge points and 1,700 connectors available to Scottish EV drivers at the same time year before.
Rapid chargers make up 16 per cent of units, but were used for almost half – 49 per cent – of all charging sessions in August 2017.
However, despite the overall increase in usage, a large number of charge points in the network are still not being used at all, the data shows. Almost a quarter – 23 per cent – of charge points were not used at all during August 2017, only a fraction less than the 25 per cent that went unused the in August 2016.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, welcomed the findings, but said EVs would only enjoy a mass market once they became as easy to use and recharge as refuelling currently is for petrol and diesel vehicles.
“Scotland may be on the cusp of a motoring revolution, but step-changes in electric vehicle technology must be matched by equally big strides in recharging infrastructure,” said Gooding. “It is pleasing to see the use rapid chargers are getting. But the stubbornly high number of charge points that get little or no use shows that we still need to think not just about the total amount of charging infrastructure but what type it is and where it is located.”
In related news, global consultancy Capgemini has partnered with Norwegian digital tech firm Smartly to launch a new mobile phone app which allows subscribers to access and pay for the use of EV car chargers in housing co-op networks across Norway.
The app, launched earlier this week, tracks identities of different users of the EV charge points, allowing for households in the co-ops to be accurately billed for their vehicle energy consumption and providing app users with the ability to keep track of their electricity use and pay accordingly, Capgemini said.
“We brought together our expertise in cloud native apps, digital innovation and customer experience with the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to help Smartly create an innovative app that not only provides a great user experience for Smartly’s customers, but also contributes to a greener future for Norway,” said Jens Middborg, VP at Capgemini in Norway.