HiTrans and ScottishPower to deliver 24 new rapid electric vehicle chargers for Western Scotland

An agreement has been reached which will boost the electric vehicle infrastructure across western Scotland through the delivery of 24 new rapid charging stations Following a publicly advertised procurement process, Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (HiTrans) have agreed with ScottishPower to deliver the new rapid chargers as part of the INTERREG VA FASTER Project.

The contract will be delivered in support of the FASTER Project which has received €6.4 million EU funding under the INTERREG VA programme. The project is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) to support the transition to electric vehicles and sustainable transport use across Western Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (Border Region).

Match funding of £250,000 for the project has been provided by Transport Scotland, while additional funds have been contributed by the Department for Infrastructure (Northern Ireland) and the Department for Transport (Republic of Ireland).

ScottishPower will supply a tried and tested product, Raption 50s with 50kW charging capacity for electric vehicles to further support the transition to electric vehicle use in rural and isolated areas as well as some heavily populated areas with increasing EV demand identified by project partner the Power Network Demonstration Centre

The new charging infrastructure will be installed in areas including Argyll and Bute, The Highlands (Skye, Lochaber and Lochalsh) and the Western Isles and will form an extension to the existing Charge Place Scotland network.

Gemma Robinson, Project Officer at HITRANs said: HITRANS is excited to be appointing ScottishPower for the supply, installation and maintenance services of 24 50kw chargers across our region.

“ScottishPower is committed to speeding up the electrification of transport and demonstrated a strong understanding of the challenges our region faces in providing reliable and accessible charging infrastructure.

“Environmental protection, social equality and ethical governance were key themes throughout their public procurement exercise, so we look forward to progressing the FASTER project in collaboration with their team.”

ScottishPower will work with well-established subcontractors throughout Scotland to deliver this new network which will have contactless payment options and will not require drivers to use a dedicated app or subscription card.

Reflecting on the contract announcement, Chris Carberry, Smart Solutions Director at ScottishPower said: “We are delighted to work with the Highlands and Island Transport Partnership to help facilitate a sustainable transition to electric vehicles in the region.

“We recognise that rural areas often face more challenges when it comes to accessing charging infrastructure and we are very pleased to be working with HITRANS to improve this and support wider public access to rapid charging for their vehicles.”

ScottishPower will provide a three-year warranty and maintenance package and a one-year works guarantee with all work expected to be completed before the end of October 2023.

East Border Region Ltd, based in Newry, Northern Ireland is the lead partner on the FASTER Project and Councillor Robert Burgess, Chairperson welcomed the appointment of the infrastructure provider for Western Scotland adding;

“EBR are delighted to be Lead Partner on this innovative and genuinely cross border project which will see essential EV infrastructure installed across the three jurisdictions.

“EV’s are an essential strategy in the immediate term to reduce emissions and help improve air quality. We look forward to the rollout of the 24 Scottish rapid charge points and to working with our Scottish Partners and the newly appointed Scottish Power in the implementation phase of the project”.

Further information on the FASTER Project is available at www.fasterevcharge.com and electric vehicle drivers can follow the progress of this new network on the project’s social media channels.

Proposed charging point locations (subject to final approvals)

No. of 50kw Chargers
The Highland Council Sites
Bayfield Car park, Portree, Isle of Skye, Highlands, 2
Ballachulish Viistor Centre Car Park, Albert Rd, Ballachulish, Highlands,  PH49 4JB 3
Glenfinnan Monument & Visitor Centre,, Glenfinnan,, Inverness-shire, Highlands,  PH37 4LT 1
Arisaig Hotel, Main Road, Arisaig, Highlands,  PH39 4NH 1
Strontian Stores, 1 Dalmhor, Strontian, Acharacle, Highlands, PH36 4HZ 1
Argyll and Bute Sites
Rothesay Ferry Terminal, Rothesay, Isle of Bute PA20 9AQ 2
Corran Halls, 54 Corran Esplanade, Oban, Argyll   PA34 5AB 2
Ledaig Car Park Tobermory Isle of Mull , Argyll  PA75 6NR 1
Dunoon Pier Car Park, PA23 8AB 2
Tarbert Port (Loch Fyne) The Ferry Slipway, Pier Road, Tarbert, Argyll, PA29 6UF 1
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Leverburgh Harris Ferry Terminal, Isel of Harris, Western Isles, HS5 3UB 2
Stepping Stone Restaurant, Balivanich, Isle of Benbecula, Western Isles, HS7 5LA 2
South Beach Car Park, South Beach Street, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis,Western Isles, HS1 2BN 2
Uist Gifts and Information, Pier Road, Lochboisdale, South Uist, Western Isles, HS8 5TH 2

In the Highlands and Argyll and Bute, sites were prioritised by those providing coverage of network gaps and then putting in double chargers on Council land to provide economies of scale.

In the Western Isles, poor existing and proposed fault response times from Suppliers caused us to prioritise sites by doubling up to build in resilience, on Council or private land.