Uist Energy in Motion
The Uists have some of the highest transport fuel costs in Scotland and personal transport can be a lifeline in a rural area. A local survey in 2016 concluded that over 25% of respondents would buy an EV if there were improvements in charging facilities and maintenance support in conjunction with increased awareness of EV range and costs.
The Uist Energy in Motion Project was established in 2018 and is led by community group Urachadh Uibhist in conjunction with the North Uist Development Company, Cothrom (South Uist) and Community Energy Scotland to increasing climate literacy and awareness of the contribution sustainable transport can make in reducing emissions and to increase the viability and uptake of EV’s in the Uists, in order to reduce the cost and climate footprint of transport.
The project has employed a Local Development Officer and is undertaking the following work:
- Creation of local transport hubs at Claddach Kirkibost (North Uist) and one at Cothrom (South Uist) including installation of a rapid charger and a digital information portal at each location
- A calendar of local events including EV trials, talks and school sessions
- Engagement with garages to improve the provision of used car sales, maintenance and servicing
Creating an EV Owners Group
- Two-way knowledge sharing with other communities and community groups across Scotland
This has resulted in more EV’s being purchased on the Isles of Uist. More details about activities during the project can be found at the Uist Energy in Motion FaceBook group.
In order for people to consider transitioning to electric vehicles mindsets need to be changed. Community organisations and schools can be well placed to encourage this transition.
Vehicle sharing provide a cheaper alternative than vehicle ownership, and can enable access to independent transport to people who may not otherwise be able to afford it.
An EV Ecosystem
An EV ecosystem will require a number of different players including people who are willing to purchase EV’s, new and used EV’s being available for sale, charge points in suitable locations and Garages that can carry out EV servicing and repairs.
Owning Chargers – Income for Communities?
Chargers on the ChargePlace Scotland network are free to use, whereas privately owned chargers tend not to be. However, it is unlikely that charger owners will provide free EV charging indefinitely.