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.

2018/19 Winners

The first round of the challenge fund awarded £12.1M to five projects:

Future application rounds

Future application rounds of the challenge fund will be announced in due course. information on the launch of round 2 is expected to be available late 2019.  Criteria for applications will be reviewed for each application round.  Round 2 is expected to include enhanced opportunities for more rural projects, with the potential to support smaller individual projects. 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 typically focus upon either a single town or city, however applications relating to multiple towns will be considered where credible links and shared impact between towns can be demonstrated. It will be up to the local authority to identify the towns or city 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 2 of the Challenge Fund is expected to open for applications late 2019 or early 2020.

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 2 In depth feasibility support

To assist local authorities in developing suitable proposals, we have provided the Energy Saving Trust with funding to deliver up to 10 feasibility studies, each with a value of approximately £40K. The Energy Saving Trust will work collaboratively with successful applicants to develop tailored feasibility studies, exploring local measures for low carbon transport.

This will be delivered over the course of 2019/20 and is intended to help local authorities comprehensively map out opportunities and to drive a pipeline of high quality projects for future rounds of the Challenge Fund.

To register interest or apply for 2019/20 Switched on Towns and Cities feasibility support, please visit the Energy Savings Trust website or contact switchedontownsandcities@est.org.uk.

Further information

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