By Lucy Ashton
Argyll and Bute Council has been successful in securing almost £100,000 of funding for electric vehicle chargers at council offices, depots and schools.
Transport Scotland invites local authorities to bid for funding through its competitive Switched on Fleets initiative. The fund is designed to enable the transition of older petrol and diesel vehicles to cleaner, greener electric options.
Over the past few years, the council has changed over 70 vehicles to electric or plug-in hybrid, with plans in place to bring even more into the 500 vehicle fleet in the future. Having the infrastructure in place to allow these new vehicles to charge is vital to supporting the council’s commitment to becoming a net zero carbon emissions organisation by 2045.
The bid focussed on key areas where there are gaps in the existing network and will see chargers being installed at sites on Bute, Islay and Tiree, as well in Campbeltown and Oban.
In previous years, funding has been secured from this initiative to install chargers in Helensburgh and on Mull, as well as other sites in Rothesay and Oban.
Policy Lead for Roads and Transport, Councillor Andrew Kain, pictured left, said: “This is really good news, and congratulations should go to the team involved in the funding bid. This money will help us put the infrastructure in place to move even more of our vehicles over to cleaner, greener alternatives.
‘’The funding also means that there will be less need for council vehicles to use public chargers, which has a positive effect on increasing the availability of the public network.
‘’We have plans in place to expand our current public network of 30 chargers with another 55 sites agreed. We are currently in discussions with Transport Scotland about how we fund future public charger installs.’’