Scots drivers, it appears are on a roll, forging ahead in all-electric vehicle car sales according to the latest figures... and all electric and hybrid models now account for one in three sales throughout the UK.
The latest sales figures from New AutoMotive suggests there has been a year-on-year increase of almost 75% in new electric vehicles registrations in Scotland, from 5.89% to 10.28%, during the month of March. Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Dundee have led the way with impressive new EV sales.
Across the UK, sales of all-electric vehicles were up by a staggering 63% year-on-year (over 39,400 vehicles). In March, 16% of all new cars bought in the UK were fully electric, up from 8% of the market in March 2021, whilst sales of hybrids were down by 2%.
According to the Electric Vehicle Association Scotland: 'forward-thinking Scots are leading most of the rest of the UK in their take up of electric vehicles'. The Association is calling for accelerated charging infrastructure programmes across Scotland 'to keep pace with demand'.
Both diesel and petrol vehicle share of the market also fell in the last 12 months, from 72% of sales last March, to 58% now.
Ciara Cook, research and policy officer at New AutoMotive, said: 'Our latest car sales data shows that Brits are continuing to make the switch – electric car sales have doubled in the last year and is the fastest growing segment in the market'.
Overall car sales fell 14% in the last 12 months, led by a steep decline in diesel models, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Just 14,000 diesel cars were sold, while electric and hybrid models now account for one in three sales.
Neil Swanson, director of EVA Scotland, said: 'It is not totally surprising that Scotland's new EV sales have risen so sharply now that the negative myths around buying and owning an electric vehicle have been largely dispelled. Couple that with the huge rises in diesel and petrol prices, no wonder more and more Scots are switching and going all-electric. It is therefore imperative that our public and private EV charging infrastructures enable drivers to get their vehicles charged more easily'.
In recent surveys, over 90% of respondents said that cheaper fuel costs, reductions in overall running costs (71%) and a more enjoyable drive (82%) were the main factors in making their switch to an EV.
One of the most enterprising initiatives is in Dundee where the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP) – an ambitious joint venture between Michelin, Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise – was launched to focus on sustainable mobility and decarbonisation of the transport sector. It offers space, business, skills and innovation support, and access to green energy from sustainable sources.
With a £20 million transformation programme of the physical space underway, MSIP has already managed to land 11 tenants, bringing over 100 jobs to Dundee. Those already located on the parc are creating world-leading technology in solar power, hydrogen and lithium-ion batteries, and electric vehicle charging technology and infrastructure. MSIP's purpose is to create jobs, generate economic growth and respond to climate change. The companies it is working with are developing world-first technology at MSIP. And this is just the start.
The hunt is on for the country's top 'plugged-in' hotel. The most forward-looking hospitality businesses in Scotland that have gone that extra mile to make electric vehicle charge points available for guests and visitors will receive the ultimate in EV recognition next year at a major awards presentation. According to Hotel News Scotland – the online media platform that showcases the amazing work being done by hotels and others in the country's hospitality sectors – hotels must address the challenges ahead as EV ownership rapidly expands.
The joint venture by the Electric Vehicle Association Scotland and HNS highlights the important contribution that the hospitality sector makes, not only in successful transition to all electric transportation, but also to the future expansion of tourism and travel industries, and the overall economy of Scotland.
EVA Scotland's chief operating officer, Laura Robinson, said: 'Recently, we issued a call for Scotland's hospitality industry to go that extra mile and see the installation of EV charge points as an opportunity to boost business through the provision of this essential facility for guests and visitors. Scotland has always been a go to
destination for car drivers and their families and even more so now that pandemic restrictions have eased. With electric vehicle sales rising at a tremendous rate – a 75% increase (year-on-year) in March – and with one in three cars on UK roads expected to be electric by 2025, hospitality venues must gear up and install more EV charge point facilities for guests and visitors… this must continue at pace'.
Hotel News Scotland founder and editor, Renata Fernandes, will advise and assist EVA Scotland in a range of initiatives that will culminate in a major awards presentation event in September 2023. This will focus on recognising and honouring those in Scotland's hospitality sectors who have made significant contributions towards the transition to all electric transportation.
Fernandes said: 'Our objective has always been to provide not only holiday information for electric vehicle drivers but to inform and inspire hospitality professionals across the country to invest in the essential facilities expected in today's changing holiday environment. There has never been such an important time in the development of the industry in looking forward and offering one of the most important elements that will be expected by visitors and guest in the years ahead, and that is the ability to charge their electric vehicles at the hotels and venues they visit'.
Norrie Hunter is
a motoring journalist and is currently advising Electric Vehicle Association Scotland on press and media communications