Rapid electric vehicle chargers light the way

Kate Forbes, MSP.  Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch right) is pictured at a rapid charge point with (left to right) Gemma Robinson, FASTER Project Manager, HITRANS, Lewis Hunter, Research and Development Engineer,   University of Strathclyde and Ranald Robertson, Director, HITRANS. NO-F38-EV-Project-with-KF.jpg
Kate Forbes, MSP.  Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch right) is pictured at a rapid charge point with (left to right) Gemma Robinson, FASTER Project Manager, HITRANS, Lewis Hunter, Research and Development Engineer,   University of Strathclyde and Ranald Robertson, Director, HITRANS. NO-F38-EV-Project-with-KF.jpg

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The drive to break down the main barriers to ownership of electrical vehicles in rural communities has begun.

A project was launched on World Electric Vehicle Day (September 9) that will see a network of 24 rapid charging points installed on the west coast of the Highlands and Islands.

HITRANS, the regional transport partnership for the Highlands and Islands, has attracted 1,500,000 Euros of Euro funding and support from the Scottish Government to install the EV units in Lochaber, Skye and Lochalsh, Argyll and Bute – excluding Helensburgh – and the Western Isles by 2023.

Priority locations have been identified but are still to be confirmed.

HITRANS has tapped into a European collaboration to help deliver the FASTER Project – Facilitating a Sustainable Transition to Electric Vehicles in the Regions.

The project will assist with analysis of the planning and needs to kick start a commercial charging service.

Lochaber councillor Allan Henderson, chairman of HITRANS, said: ‘The FASTER project is the latest in a growing number of environmentally-friendly European projects that HITRANS is delighted to be involved in.

Lochaber councillor Allan Henderson says doing nothing about the Corran Ferry is not an option. NO-F48-Allan-Henderson
Lochaber councillor Allan Henderson.
NO-F48-Allan-Henderson

‘We are committed to delivering practical projects which contribute towards the greening of transport in our diverse and rural area.

‘FASTER will share best practice for deploying charge points and promote sustainable transport in the region and help break down the barriers to ownership of EVs.’

Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, said she was delighted that World Electric Vehicle Day had been chosen to launch the scheme in a rural part of Scotland she knows so well.

‘Providing a reliable network of rapid charging facilities across many of the more remote parts of Scotland will help remove the barrier to EV ownership.

‘It will allow these communities to play their role in making Scotland a greener place to live, as well as allowing more visitors to access and contribute to these places,’ said Ms Forbes.

‘I congratulate HITRANS for taking this project forward, and it’s also encouraging to hear that there are further sites in the pipeline with more rapid chargers planned not just for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch – but across the Highlands and Islands as a whole.’

Work has started on finding possible locations for the chargers through the HITRANS EV Strategy.

Transport Scotland  and project partner Strathclyde University (engaging with SSE Networks) are discussing locations to ensure they chosen wisely and in line with grid capacity and existing infrastructure.