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13/02/2020

Up To £5m To Be Invested In Lanarkshire Electricity Infrastructure

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Up to £5 million is to be invested in Electric Vehicle (EV) charging and electricity network infrastructure across Lanarkshire.

The public use hubs will be created in car parks owned and operated by both North and South Lanarkshire Councils, in a bid to meet ambitious plans by the Scottish Government to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.

Members of the committee were told that preparatory work with Transport Scotland and SP Energy Networks is underway, as part of Project PACE, which aims to determine optimum EV charge point locations and the electricity network infrastructure required to support them.

Locations being considered align with areas of potential demand, taking into account existing electricity infrastructure location and capacity, available land and the need to provide public access.

Councillor Michael McPake, Convener of the Environment and Transportation Committee, welcomed the decision to support the project, saying: "This is an innovative, ambitious plan for Lanarkshire that will see a real increase in the electric vehicle charging infrastructure on the ChargePlace Scotland network in North Lanarkshire, by the end of this year.

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"The Scottish Government targets aim to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032, and these plans are designed to pave the way for that to become a reality. The new network will contribute to reducing air pollution and providing access to clean energy for our residents, and the project fits with this council's ambition to be the place to live, learn, work, invest and visit."

The £7.5 million Strategic Partnership between the Scottish Government, including Transport Scotland, SP Energy Networks and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks was announced by the First Minister on 29 August 2019.

Since the launch of the partnership, SP Energy Networks and Transport Scotland have established Project PACE with North Lanarkshire Council and South Lanarkshire Council, as beneficiaries to trial opportunities to improve the delivery and co-ordination of investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Scott Mathieson, Director of Network Planning and Regulation at SP Energy Networks, said: "We're delighted that North Lanarkshire will be involved in this innovative pilot project which will help Scotland drive towards its ambitious net zero carbon emissions targets.

"The decarbonisation of transport is critical to these ambitions so collaboration from industry and government will be required. This partnership is a fantastic example of how smarter working together can help us respond to the climate change emergency efficiently and benefit both the environment and our customers in Lanarkshire.

"We're focused on ensuring Scotland has access to a world-leading electric vehicle charging network and the electricity infrastructure needed to support. That's why we are uniquely positioned, as the distribution network operator, to lead this project which aims to increase the number of EV chargers across the two trial areas by 500% which means the number of EV chargers in Scotland as a whole will increase by 25% in one year. This will serve as a blueprint for other areas across the country in the shift to electric vehicles, ensuring every community has equal access to charging points connected into Scotland's electricity networks."

(MH/CM)

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