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MSP urges Scottish Government to address the issue of broken or inactive electric vehicle chargers in Aberdeenshire

By David Porter

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The charging point at Ellon Library remains inactive
The charging point at Ellon Library remains inactive

Conservative MSP Liam Kerr has urged the Scottish Government to address the amount of broken electric vehicle chargers in the north-east as new figures show a record number of faults across Scotland.

At FMQs, the north-east MSP spoke of how motorists, particularly in Aberdeenshire, are being left stranded by faulty and inaccessible charging points.

It comes as Freedom of Information figures on the Scottish Government’s ChargePlace Scotland scheme show charging point faults this year already exceed those for the whole of 2020.

The statistics also showed that over the past two years, nearly 40 charging units each week have not been working in places such as Aberdeenshire.

In his question to Deputy First Minister John Swinney, Mr Kerr said: “Latest figures show that of those already installed, the number of faulty charging points recorded this year far exceed those recorded in 2020.

“Nearly 40 charging units per week are registered broken.

“The Scottish Chambers of Commerce say the situation in Aberdeenshire is ‘nowhere near good enough’.

“So will the Deputy First Minister address these issues with ChargePlace Scotland, to ensure Scotland has proper, working infrastructure to support the rollout of electric vehicles and meet our net-zero targets.”

John Swinney replied: “If Mr Kerr wants to furnish me with information about the particular examples he’s concerned about I’ll make sure these are addressed.”

Issues have included a backlog of work which had not been addressed, an example being in Ellon which had never been activated and is still currently out of service despite having been in place for nearly two years.

Following Mr Swinney’s response, Mr Kerr said: “I will be in further dialogue with John Swinney over the issue because the situation in Aberdeenshire is absolutely appalling.

“Ensuring an uptake in electric vehicle use is critical in our fight to tackle the climate emergency.

"However, many people across the north-east are still not confident enough to buy one due to the lack of charging points in their area while the ones that are in place are often broken.

“At the current rate of Scottish Government progress, it could take around 45 years – rather than nine - to get to their target of 30,000 chargers while a number of the ones currently in place need repaired.

“There is a real risk the purchase of these vehicles will grind to a halt."

Currently active charging points can be found via https://chargeplacescotland.org/

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