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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 11/05/2022

Electric Vehicle Charge Point Tourism Recovery Fund

Scotland’s electric vehicle charge point network is set to receive a boost with the launch of a new fund aimed at tourism businesses.

The Electric Vehicle Charge Point Tourism Recovery Fund, part of the Destination Net Zero programme, will help support businesses to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 in a sustainable manner and contribute to Scotland’s climate target of achieving net zero emissions by 2045.

The move is designed to improve the network of charge points across Scotland and encourage responsible tourism practices with both visitors and businesses.

This Fund will enable businesses to position sustainability at the heart of their recovery and ensure their offering will make it easier for visitors to make environmentally conscious travel decisions.

What funding is available to install a charge point?

The £325,000 Electric Vehicle Charge Point Fund provides a one-off payment to tourism businesses towards the installation of an electric vehicle charge point. It will support around 100 charge points.

Businesses can apply for funding to assist in the installation of an electric vehicle charge point on their premises.

The funding available is 75% of the total cost of the charge point and installation (including applicable VAT), up to a maximum of £15,000. The business must pay for the remaining cost. 

There is limited funding available, and it will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Applications are open from 11 May until 8 September (or earlier if budget is utilised before this date).

The Fund is being administered by Energy Saving Trust on behalf of VisitScotland and the Scottish Government.

Read the full criteria and guidance and apply for funding on the Energy Savings Trust website.

Who is this Fund for?

The Fund is open to all tourism businesses classed as micro or SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) that have been trading for at least 12 months.

The business must have an appropriate space in which an EV charge point can be safely installed and used by visitors and staff. 

The business must own the land on which the EV charge point is installed or, if the property is leased, have written permission from the landowner for the installation. 

As a condition of the funding, following installation, the EV charge point must be made available for visitors or guests to use, for which a charge can be levied by the business.

Funding is not available for installations that have already taken place or for installations already in progress. 

For additional information on eligibility please read the criteria document on the Energy Savings Trust website.

How does it work?

The process for applying for funding

  1. 1

    Obtain quotes from EST approved installers

    To be eligible for funding, a quote must be obtained by an EST "approved installer". As the grants only cover part of the cost, it is recommended that you source multiple quotes to obtain a competitive price. 

  2. 2

    Complete the application

    The business must then complete the application form on the EST website and submit your supporting documentation – including your quote from an approved supplier.

  3. 3

    Application assessed

    The application will be assessed and if successful, the grant offer will be confirmed in writing. It will be valid for six months.

  4. 4

    EV charge point installed

    The business must then arrange for the EV charge point to be installed by the relevant approved installer and must pay the invoice with the installer.

  5. 5

    Reimbursement from EST

    The business must then provide a completion report to EST, the submission is checked, and the business receives the reimbursement from EST.

The rise of the electric car

22.2%

of new registered vehicles were electric (March 2022)

700,000

the number of electric vehicles on the road in the UK

43%

of Scotland residents are interested in changing to electric / hybrid

Due to their lower running costs, electric vehicles are becoming an increasingly attractive transport option and are a crucial step in decarbonising the transport system, improving air quality and contributing to Scotland’s climate target of achieving net zero emissions by 2045.

The number of new plug-in vehicles registered in the UK has increased significantly in recent years.

While 72% of Scotland residents use their own petrol / diesel car when taking breaks and holidays in Scotland, our research shows, 43% are interested in changing to electric / hybrid “within the next few years”, with price and fears around sufficient charging points among the main obstacles. Take a look at Scotland residents' views on responsible tourism research.

EV charge points in Scotland

The UK has more than 50,000 EV connectors in 18,000 different locations, 10% of which are located in Scotland which has the highest number of public charge points by population (per 100,000 inhabitants).

Energy Saving Trust mapped the location of EV charge points on some of Scotland’s popular driving routes, on our behalf. It found a total of 1,933 within five miles across all popular tourist routes, which include the South West Coastal 300, North East 250 and North Coast 500.

We’re encouraging businesses within areas where EV charge points are limited to apply for this fund.

Business benefits

By installing an electric vehicle charge point, benefits include:

  • Attract customers

    You could attract a specific customer target market, that businesses without an EV charge point cannot reach

  • Longer stays

    It could lead to your visitors staying longer. For example, as EV users are charging their car, they may come into your business or stay longer and spend more money in your cafe as they wait

  • Green credentials

    You improve your own green credentials

  • Sustainable customers

    You make it easier for customers to go green

  • Future proof

    You’re helping to future proof your business and Scottish tourism

Destination Net Zero programme

The Destination Net Zero programme is a key strand in the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Programme. It aims to support businesses and destinations as they transition to a future of net zero emissions.

By working together, we can play a lead role in the development of responsible tourism practices, making Scotland one of the most economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable destinations in the world.

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