Car designer slams lack of electric charging points in Edinburgh

DIrector of design for Jaguar has hit out at the lack of charge points in Edinburgh
DIrector of design for Jaguar has hit out at the lack of charge points in Edinburgh
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A LEADING car designer has hit out at a lack of electric vehicle charging points in the city, claiming he had to drive almost 30 miles to “refuel”.

Ian Callum, director of design for Jaguar, posted his dismay with a lack of chargers in the Capital on social media after driving a new all-electric version of the car maker’s I-type model into the city centre.

Electric car charging signage at Midlothian County Hospital 14/8/17

Electric car charging signage at Midlothian County Hospital 14/8/17

Mr Callum, 63, whose previous projects have included the Aston Martin DB7, slammed an “appalling” lack of fast charge points in the city, later posting that he had to travel out as far as East Lothian to find one.

Council figures show the city has 40 publicly accessible charging points spread across 16 locations in the Capital.

However, writing on Twitter, Mr Callum called for more to be installed to encourage motorists to make the switch to all electric vehicles.

He posted: “Driven an I Pace to Scotland. Appallingly few fast chargers in Edinburgh. Come on guys. Sort it out!!”

Posting again later in the day, Mr Callum added: “All sorted. Found one in Dunbar. 35 mile drive. Just annoyed a lack of units in the city but I’m sure it will improve soon.”

Fast charging points typically cut “refuelling” times for electric vehicles in half, with most taking between three and four hours to fully power a car battery.

A City of Edinburgh Council report released in December 2017 revealed a record number new registrations for electric vehicles across Scotland in 2016, with more than 3,500 on the road midway through the year.

Scottish government targets aim to expand electric vehicle infrastructure by 2022, with a phasing out of all fossil-fuel engines by 2032.

Mr Callum’s tweets came just days after new plans were unveiled by the UK government’s transport secretary, Chris Grayling, meaning new homes could be required to have electric vehicle charging points in a bid to keep low-emission models on the road.

Only motorists in Renfrewshire have a higher percentage of electric vehicle ownership than those in Edinburgh, according to council data.

UK-wide figures showed 45,509 electric vehicles were registered in the year up to June 2017, an increase of more than 27 per cent on the previous year’s ownership survey.

A council spokeswoman said the authority is committed to encouraging the use of electric vehicles, adding a new plan for “large-scale rollout” of infrastructure would be put forward.

She said:“We take the promotion of electric vehicles as a clean, green mode of transport very seriously, and will soon be putting forward an ambitious electric vehicle business case for approval.”

“This will detail delivery options for a large-scale role out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and the investment needed.”

She continued: “There are already a range of publicly accessible, council-operated charging units across the city, as well as those provided by other private and public sector organisations, and with 8.4 per cent of all of Scotland’s licensed plug-in vehicles in Edinburgh we’re making great progress to helping residents and organisations make the switch from fossil-fuelled to electric vehicles.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com