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Electric vehicle network concerns to be raised with Transport Minister

Electric cars are proving highly popular in Orkney.

Concerns raised in Orkney about the reliability of Scotland’s electric vehicle charging network will be on the agenda in Edinburgh this Tuesday.

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur will meet with Scottish Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf tomorrow, Tuesday, to highlight the issue.

Despite an increase in the availability of rapid and other charge points across the country over recent years, there are increasing concerns about the way in which these are serviced and maintained.

Mr McArthur and the Minister will be joined by Jonathan Porterfield from Orkney-based Eco Cars, who has been vocal in highlighting the need for urgent action to ensure  repairs to charge points are carried out quickly and efficiently.

The meeting coincides with confirmation last month from the Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, that the Scottish Government is reviewing the strategy on ‘plugged-in’ vehicles, while figures out last week reinforce Orkney’s place at the top of the table in terms of EV ownership per head of population in Scotland.

Ahead of the meeting Orkney’s MSP said: “It is good to see Orkney continue to lead the way when it comes to electric vehicles. Key to encouraging more drivers to make the switch, however, is ensuring that we have a network of charge points that is both extensive and reliable.

“Progress has certainly been made in expanding the network over recent years, although more needs to be done. Meantime, there appear to be increasing problems with drivers turning up at charge points to find them out of order or unable to accept charge cards.  As well as the obvious inconvenience for EV users, this situation is doing nothing to build public confidence and increase the take up of EVs.

“Urgent action is needed. This will involve the operator, Charge Your Car, local authorities and the Scottish Government.  With a new government strategy on plugged-in vehicles being developed, there is an ideal opportunity to address this issue as a priority.

“That is the reassurance I will be seeking from Humza Yousaf this week.  Meantime, I would encourage anyone with ideas about how the current charging network might be improved to get in touch.”