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Scotland’s electric vehicle charge point network has received a boost with the launch of a new fund aimed at driving sustainable travel in the tourism industry.
The electric vehicle charge point tourism recovery fund, part of the Destination Net Zero programme, will help support businesses to recover from the impacts of Covid-19 in a sustainable manner.
Scottish tourism businesses will be able to apply for funding to assist with the installation of an electric vehicle charge point on their premises.
The move is designed to improve the network of charge points across Scotland and encourage responsible tourism practices with both visitors and businesses.
On Arran the need for more charging points is acute with limited availability across the island.
The £325,000 fund will support around 100 charge points by providing tourism businesses with up to 75 per cent of the cost of installation.
It will be administered by Energy Saving Trust on behalf of national tourism organisation VisitScotland and the Scottish Government, and is open to all tourism businesses classed as SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).
While 72 per cent of Scottish residents use their own petrol/diesel car when taking breaks and holidays in Scotland, according to VisitScotland research, 43 per cent are interested in changing to electric/hybrid ‘within the next few years’, with price and fears around sufficient charging points among the main obstacles.
The UK has more than 50,000 EV connectors in 18,000 different locations, 10 per cent of which are located in Scotland, which has the highest number of public charge points by population (per 100,000 inhabitants).
Tourism Minister Ivan McKee said: ‘Destination Net Zero aims to support Scotland’s tourism sector to transition to a low carbon future through globally recognised leadership in responsible, sustainable managed growth.
‘This funding will play a significant role in helping businesses install the charging points, which will in turn make driving an electric car further appealing, as well as aiding the decarbonisation of the transport system across Scotland,’ he added.
The fund will provide a one-off payment to tourism businesses towards the installation of an electric vehicle charge point.
There is limited funding available, and it will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.