Yesterday, the Government announced news that Edinburgh and Glasgow are to share in a £20million fund designed to promote the installation of public charging points for electric cars. Whilst details of exactly how many charging points each city will install and whether any charging points will make it down to the more fun end of Leith Walk remain to be confirmed, this news should give some confidence to people who might be considering buying an electric car.
To give people even more of an incentive – yesterday also saw the announcement of a “Plug-In Car Grant” that will be worth 25 per cent or up to £5,000 when buying any qualifying low carbon car with CO2 emissions of less than 75g/km. The grants will become available in the new year.
Currently there are a number of cars that will qualify for the subsidy next year, even if some of them are not due to arrive on these shores for a few months yet. We understand that the cars are:
- Mitsubishi i-MiEV
- Smart fortwo electric drive
- Peugeot iOn
- Nissan Leaf
- Tata Vista
- Citroen CZero
- Vauxhall Ampera
- Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid
- Chevrolet Volt
Modern “electric only” cars like these typically have a range of somewhere between 50 and 100 miles, depending on whether you use the heating or air conditioning at the same time, and traffic conditions. Hybrid cars that have a ‘back-up’ petrol or diesel engine can obviously go further between re-fueling stops. The average UK driver does less than 37 miles a day, so most people, on most days, would be well served by one of these vehicles. Best of all, they only cost pennies to recharge.
Of course, until a manufacturer cracks the problem of charging for people who do not have off-street parking, or a garage, there will need to be literally thousands of charge points in Edinburgh for it this technology to work for people who live in areas where tenements are the main form of housing.
Given the range of these vehicles, you can’t help but wonder whether a public charging point will be installed at Harthill Service Station, on the M8, so that drivers wouldn’t have to gamble on making the journey between Edinburgh and Glasgow on one charge. Most of these modern electric vehicles can achieve an 80% charge in about 30minutes.
So, a quick coffee at Harthill and off you get to Glasgow and back!
Image credit: FrankH