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Question ref. S6W-04026
Asked by: Richard Leonard, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 1 November 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what measures have been taken to ensure that the contracts to install and maintain electric vehicle charging stations maximise Scotland’s economic, social, and environmental wellbeing.

Current status: Answered by Graeme Dey on 15 November 2021


Answer

The Scottish Government has invested over £50 million in development of the ChargePlace Scotland network. Funding is provided to all of Scotland’s local authorities to provide communities across Scotland with a robust user-focused charging network ensuring that no area is left behind. The majority of this investment has been through the Local Authority Install Programme, meaning that local authorities are responsible for the procurement of charge points and the associated warranty and maintenance packages.

Recent offers of grant for the Local Authority Install Programme include a requirement to embed the Place Principle in delivery, supporting the National Performance Framework’s collective purpose for Scotland. This establishes an expectation to plan and work with local communities and recognise the benefits of planning, investment and implementing activity at the regional level of place, where that focus could drive faster rates of sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Many local authorities carry out procurement using frameworks established by organisations such as Scotland Excel. These frameworks are also covered by the Sustainable Procurement Duty and therefore consider the wider social, economic and environmental aims of procurement in a consistent manner as required by the sustainable procurement duty under the Act.

Whilst Scottish Ministers fund the operation of the ChargePlace Scotland public EV charging network, installation and maintenance of the infrastructure is the sole responsibility of the respective charge point owners. Funding has been provided to local authorities to support maintenance up to 2022.

To support development of a resilient and reliable national network, that in turn supports Scotland’s economic, environmental and social well-being, all grants for electric vehicle charging infrastructure include conditions requiring the grantee (charge point owner) to have a warranty & maintenance contract in place to ensure infrastructure remains in good working order.

To ensure ChargePlace Scotland is an inclusive network, suitable for all EV drivers across all areas of Scotland and to complement our existing ‘Common Requirements and Good Practice Guide for the ChargePlace Scotland Network’ , we are developing guidance documents to aid the planning and installation of charge points in areas with varied geographic and demographic characteristics, including rural and island communities and areas at the top of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.

We are also involved in the development of Accessible Electric Vehicle Chargepoint standards that will be applicable across the United Kingdom. Through Scottish Enterprise’s Can Do Innovation Challenge framework we have already contributed £390,000 to Scottish SMEs, supporting the development of innovative ideas to make charge points more accessible. Engaging the disabled community and stakeholder organisations throughout the process.

We are also working with Scottish Futures Trust to consider the most appropriate structures and approach to expanding public charging networks across Scotland. Ensuring a Just Transition will be embedded as a core principle so that no parts of Scotland are left behind.

In addition to our work on charging infrastructure we are continuing our support for decarbonisation of the Scottish bus fleet and have committed £120 million over the coming 5 years. The Scottish Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund (ScotZEB) is designed to encourage the market to bring forward new and innovative ways to finance the transition to zero-emission bus fleets and will support Scotland’s green recovery, providing immediate economic stimulus and supporting the Scottish Government’s bold ambitions to decarbonise the bus fleet.