EV Guides | EV Charging in Scotland

Are you ready for EV charging in Scotland?

Is your business making the transition to electric? The vast amount of EV charging stations in Scotland makes things much easier for you! But what’s the data behind the electric surge?

Get all the details on the best areas for EVs and see how the EV charging points in Scotland are still increasing in our in-depth guide. Here’s everything you need to know about EV charging to prep for this growing eco trend and ease your transition to electric.

EV charging in Scotland parking space sign pointing to the left

Where are EV Charging Stations in Scotland

As of July 2022, Scotland has almost 3,000 charging stations in its network. Glasgow tops the charts with more than 270.

But are they fast or slow chargers? Scotland has 12.9 public rapid charging devices per 100,000 people. That beats even London for the number of rapid chargers.

Charging your EV shouldn’t be an issue wherever you are in Scotland.

The number of charge points in Scotland is going up

Scotland has the biggest EV network of all countries in the UK. But why stop there? From 2021 to 2022, Scotland saw an increase of 5.2% in the number of public charging points. While that is lower than London’s remarkable 16.4%, it’s still a relatively high growth rate.

EV Charging points in Scotland are going up for a lot of reasons. Here’s why.

1. Catch up with the number of EVs on the road

How many EVs are in Scotland? There are over 833,000 EVs in the UK overall.

According to government data, over 30,000 plug-in vehicles are registered in Scotland. That’s a pretty big audience that’s only growing. While you might expect Glasgow or Edinburgh to hit the number one spot, Renfrewshire actually beats them to it by a few thousand coming in at 5,863.

But most EV charging stations in Renfrewshire are only 7 kWh. It’s gaps like these that leave room for commercial charging points.

2. Lack of charging points at home and work

Perhaps one of the causes or reasons behind Scotland’s excellent public charging network is the lack of home charging systems. Other areas of the UK, especially Southeast England, has seen an increase of more than 1,400 home charging points in under two years according to data from Smart Home Charge.

While Scotland did have some homeowners installing charge points, it doesn’t compare to the rest of the UK for home charging. The public network appears to be filling in these gaps.

However, not everyone can leave their car parked and charging for hours on slow chargers. And not all drivers want to pay the public rates or have access to the best charging points near them.

Installing charging points at your workplace can be a great help to all EV workers currently employed at your business. It can also work as part of your EV transition and green goals.

Mountains in the West Highlands of Scotland

Where can’t I charge up in Scotland?

EV charging in Scotland is the best in the UK. The network even extends to the Scottish islands with the Outer Hebrides being named as one of the best places in the UK prepared for EV adoption. 12 different areas of Scotland made the top 50 list, leaving many parts of the UK left behind in comparison.

However, some parts of northern Scotland aren’t great for EV charging. Some villages in the Highlands such as Kinbrace have no public charging points at all. Once you reach the towns on the coastline, though, you’ll have more luck.

If you do plan to visit the Highlands in an EV, a little bit of careful planning might be needed. Keep your map open and see where the nearest ChargePlace Scotland points are.

New builds now require EV charging points in Scotland

New legislation introduced in 2022 means that all new builds with parking spaces must have an EV charge point included. That applies to all residential buildings (homes and flats) with at least one dedicated parking space that has to have a 7 kWh charger. All non-residential buildings with more than 10 parking spaces must have at least one EV charge point of 7 kWh.

Are there free EV Charging points in Scotland?

Yes. Scotland has its own public network known as ChargePoint Scotland. Many of these are run by the Transport for Scotland government department and are free.

If you want to find free places to charge, use a charging station map or app and look at the pricing section. Not every charger on the ChargePoint network is free.

Is it worth paying to charge my electric car?

Yes. Almost all free chargers are slow. This means your electric car could take up to eight hours to charge up to full and you could be leaving your EV in a public place in the meantime.

Finding a free charger and waiting for your EV to charge is inconvenient. You could pay to use a rapid charger.

Or you could try to get EV charging stations installed at your workplace. If you’re a sole trader working from home, you could receive a government grant of £350 to help with the costs of installation.

iCompario tip:

The one downside of paying to use charge points is the sheer number of private networks these days. Everyone has their own apps and cards. To make things easier, get EV charge cards. These give you all your fuel expenses on one invoice, including petrol for your hybrid and electric for all your EVs.

Should you get electric vehicles in Scotland?

That’s the big question everyone’s asking right now. All the incentives are in place, but is it time to make the switch? Well, Shepherd Chartered Surveyors and Hardies Construction Services recently invested £1 million in EV fleet and charging infrastructure.

The construction and surveying firm travels over three million miles a year. The company notes sustainability as the big drive behind the shift, however, tax and fuel savings make the change possible.

Whether you’re a small or large business, you could also see similar benefits.

EV Charging in Scotland station near a wind turbine in the Scottisch Highlands in winter

How to transition to EV Charging in Scotland

Taking steps to improve your EV strategy could have big pay-outs. You could save on your company car tax, receive good PR for sustainability and attract eco-conscious talent. But what are the steps you need to take?

1. Get your electric vehicle

The biggest step is to get your EV. For many businesses, hiring an EV may be a better choice to stay flexible. You don’t have to go all in overnight! Replace your older vehicles one by one or test the waters with just one EV van in addition to your fleet.

Buying right off the bat can be appealing to benefit from current price discounts, but if you decide a different model suits you better or you want more EVs quickly then hiring leaves room to grow.

2. Receive your EV fuel cards

Charging up and paying with your phone app or debit card makes VAT reclaims more inconvenient. Why dig through account payments and receipts when you can get quick, digital invoices sent straight to your inbox every month?

One of the best EV fuel cards in Scotland is the BP Fuel & Charge card. BP have over 9,000 charging stations in the UK, making it one of the largest networks. Plus, about of third of that total are rapid chargers. If you’re looking to charge up quickly at a competitive price, getting a charge card can be a big help.

3. Install EV charging stations

Installing an EV charge point at your workplace can help to reduce range anxiety. You won’t have to worry about running out of charge as you commute to the office. Simply park, charge up then drive home in comfort.

The best part of workplace charging points is that you can change the settings. Let the public use your charge points or set it to staff only for more security.

But which charging stations in Scotland should you get? It’s a tough choice, but we try to make it easy! Any device we recommend for you will secure the government grant of £350 per charging point. Find your charge points now.

Read more about EVs on iCompario

Why Range Anxiety Shouldn’t Be Holding Us Back

Why Range Anxiety Shouldn’t Be Holding Us Back

Guide to electric car charging point installation regulations

Guide to electric car charging point installation regulations

Company Car Tax on Electric Cars Explained

Company Car Tax on Electric Cars Explained

The UK Workplace Charging Scheme Explained

The UK Workplace Charging Scheme Explained