We were joined by Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson as we opened the first of over 40 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging hubs in partnership with Transport Scotland.
The first of these charging hubs delivered through a strategic partnership with the Scottish Government has now been installed in Strathclyde Country Park just outside of Glasgow.
Using a new model of delivery to improve efficiency, Project PACE has now installed EV charging infrastructure at the first of over 40 sites across North and South Lanarkshire to be delivered by April next year. This Transport Scotland investment of £5.3m will deliver up to 180 new public EV charge points for the ChargePlace Scotland network which will more than triple EV charging capacity across Lanarkshire by April 2021.
We are delivering the project as part of the EV Strategic Partnership with the Scottish Government which was announced by the First Minister in August 2019. Project PACE is being facilitated by North and South Lanarkshire Councils, who are working in collaboration with us and Transport Scotland to test a new approach to planning and delivering EV charging infrastructure.
Michael Matheson MSP joined us at Strathclyde Park to see the new charging hub and to welcome our £1.2 million investment to Lanarkshire Community Transport groups through our Green Economy Fund. This fund will allow community organisations to make the switch and help ensure no community is left behind in the transition to fully electric vehicles.
Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson said: “I’m pleased to see the first charging hub delivered through Project PACE. The initiative demonstrates how collaboration and a joined-up approach will facilitate Scotland’s green recovery. This is part of our EV Strategic Partnership with Scotland’s electricity distribution network operator companies that is helping understand the vital role they can play in delivering more charging infrastructure in a cost efficient and effective way.
“I’m also encouraged by SP Energy Networks determination to support a green economy through their new awards to Community Transport Providers based in Lanarkshire. This is helping to ensure community groups can also take advantage of the many benefits of EVs in an inclusive and accessible way – helping to support our response to the climate emergency.
“This is all part of our ambition to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032. We’re investing over £30 million in our ChargePlace Scotland network and I’m encouraged that Scotland already has the highest level of rapid EV charging provision per head of population in comparison to the rest of the UK. We will continue to go from strength to strength through initiatives like Project PACE as we continue to decarbonise our transport system.”
Vicky Kelsall, Chief Operating Officer, SP Energy Networks said: "This project provides an incredible acceleration of electric transport in Lanarkshire to ensure no community is left behind. Our optioneering study identified over 40 community hubs where it will be most effective to install public electric vehicle chargers that offer universal access. The 6 new chargers in Strathclyde Country Park are just the start as we roll out 180 across North and South Lanarkshire.
“This project demonstrates an innovative delivery model that, if adopted more widely, could help accelerate the transition to net zero and support Scotland and the UKs green economic recovery.
“We’re also helping Lanarkshire communities establish low carbon infrastructure by providing £1.2m funding for electric minibuses, vans and people carriers for community transport providers – building electric fleets that allow them to play a part in improving the region’s air quality and supporting some of the community’s most vulnerable residents.”
Councillor Michael McPake, Convener of Enterprise and Transport with North Lanarkshire Council said: “It’s wonderful that the first of the charging points should be located here at Strathclyde Park, which is one of the busiest attractions in Scotland. It will become a real asset for many people who visit the park.
“This is one example of our drive to provide people in North Lanarkshire with the opportunity to access electric charging points and will help to encourage the gradual ownership of electric vehicles. By making more charging points available the switch to an electric vehicle becomes a viable option for more people.
“It fits with this council’s ambition for North Lanarkshire to be the place to live, learn, work, invest and visit and to improve our environmental impact for the benefit of all our residents.”
Councillor John Ross, Leader of South Lanarkshire Council said: “We are delighted to be involved in such an exciting project that will see the electric vehicle charging infrastructure increase significantly in South Lanarkshire by April next year.
“It is a great example of partnership working and allows us to build on our ongoing investment in infrastructure, helping the country meet climate change targets.
“Project PACE is a tremendous opportunity to improve sustainable, low carbon travel opportunities across Lanarkshire, and of course is part of the wider EV Strategic Network that will benefit the whole of Scotland. We recognise that to encourage people to use electric vehicles the infrastructure has to be there. Today marks an important step on that journey.”