Switched on Towns and Cities Challenge Fund

The Switched on Towns and Cities Challenge Fund aims to facilitate a step change in the uptake of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) in Scotland’s towns and cities. Its objective is to support intensive, high impact capital activity in order to incentivise, encourage and promote the use of plug-in EVs. It will operate as a competitive capital fund with an annual call for bids.

The Challenge Fund is targeted at local authorities who are well positioned to deliver the infrastructure and local incentives to support EV uptake. Community Planning Partners as defined in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 as well as wider public sector bodies, with local bases, are eligible project partners.

Run as an annual competition, it is expected that up to 5 awards will be made through the first round of funding with eligible costs per project in the range of £1.5 million to £2.5 million. Costs below this level will be considered exceptionally. Up to 100% of eligible costs may be supported by Transport Scotland funding, although extra credit will be given to bids that can bring match-funding from non-Transport Scotland public sources.

Projects will need to focus upon either a single town or city. It will be up to the local authority to prioritise which town or city this will be in collaboration with any project partners.

Applicants are encouraged to put forward proposals that they consider will deliver greatest impact. Projects containing significant activity aimed at implementing convenient solutions to address EV charging for residents living in tenements or with no off-street parking are particularly encouraged.

Applicants will also be expected to describe the wider non-capital activities they plan or have already implemented to encourage and incentivise EV uptake in the relevant town or city.

How to apply

Round 1 of the Challenge Fund closed for applications on 31 August 2018.

The guidance documents associated with Round 1 can be downloaded from the links below:


Round 1 timeline

Following the deadline for applications to Round 1 of the Challenge Fund, Transport Scotland anticipates the assessment of applications to be completed by early October and to issue grant offer letters in November.

In depth feasibility support

For local authorities who are not in a position to submit an application to Round 1 of the Switched on Towns and Cities Challenge Fund, Transport Scotland has made available a limited amount of funding to support up to 10 in-depth feasibility studies, each up to the value of £40K and to be delivered over the course of 2018/19. This funding is now fully allocated. It's intended to help local authorities to comprehensively map out opportunities and to drive a pipeline of high quality projects to future rounds of the Challenge Fund. For further information please contact the Energy Saving Trust at: switchedontownsandcities@est.org.uk

Further information

Please email sotc@transport.gov.scot if you have any questions.