Key findings

It is clear that the need for accessible EV charging points is essential in delivering the Scottish Government’s ambition to roll out EV’s across Scotland. With disabled people in the UK at 14 million and with 2.7 million predicted drivers in ten years’ time, all driving consumers should benefit from more inclusive EV charging infrastructure.

Through our engagement with stakeholders, mainly through the consultation process, two areas were raised around our proposals for EV charge point socket provision in accessible parking spaces.

Firstly, a number of respondents asked for a more ambitious ratio, 1-in-2 for example, or to make developers provide access to a charge point in every accessible space provided.

Secondly, whilst not within the scope of the proposals, the consultation highlighted wider concerns around the accessibility of EV charging facilities in general, like the lack of non-kerbed areas or the limited space for manoeuvrability around the car. In addition, it was highlighted that this was a major barrier to disabled drivers making their next car electric.


There is a reasonable question to ask around why Government has not proposed a more ambitious ratio, like 1-in-2 accessible spaces, or why not just guide developers to make all accessible spaces have an EV charge point.

For Domestic Buildings, our policy of at least 1 parking space per dwelling, so a private driveway in a new semi-detached house for example, having an EV charge point as standard (bar any cost exemption) will ensure that those homeowners, whether they are a blue badge holder or not, will have a private driveway with an EV charge point with a minimum 7kw power output. There is likely to be little or no requirements for separate accessible spaces in those types of developments but, where there is, then minimum provision will be required to be provided (and in those rare cases it is likely to be 1 or 2 spaces).

With regards to flat developments with unallocated parking, it will often be the case that a small number of accessible spaces are provided in addition to the spaces allocated for the flats in that development. Therefore, in these circumstances, the policy will likely have a greater impact in this domestic building setting.

There will be a requirement to provide EV charge point access for every space provided for each dwelling (whether allocated or unallocated) and, in addition, provide EV charge point access for 1 in every 4 accessible spaces. There will also be a requirement to ensure ducting infrastructure is provided for those accessible spaces that do not have an EV charge point to allow for future no-dig installation of an EV charge point.

For non-domestic buildings, Scottish Planning Policy provides minimum provision standards for new developments in relation to parking for disabled people. For retail, recreation and leisure developments the minimum provision should be:

  • 3 spaces or 6% (whichever is greater) in car parks with up to 200 spaces; or
  • 4 spaces plus 4% in car parks with more than 200 spaces.

Employers also have a duty to consider the disabilities of their employees and visitors to their premises. The minimum number of car parking spaces for disabled people at places of employment should be:

  • 1 space per disabled employee plus 2 spaces or 5% whichever is greater in car parks with up to 200 spaces; or
  • 6 spaces plus 2% in car parks with more than 200 spaces.

Therefore, in addition to these minimum provision standards for accessible parking there will be an additional requirement to provide a minimum level of EV charge points and infrastructure, and this will be over and above EV charge point requirements (See chapter: Background) to ensure that adequate provision is provided for those that use these spaces. The table below illustrates how this would work in practice for a non-domestic car park (with accessible charge point provision rounded up):

New Car Parks - Accessible EV parking spaces
Car Park Size Charge point sockets Accessible car parking provision Accessible parking space charge point socket provision
11 1 3 1
20 2 3 1
30 3 3 1
40 4 3 1
50 5 3 1
100 10 6 2
150 15 9 2
200 20 12 3
250 25 14 4
300 30 16 4

However, we do recognise that by not requiring all accessible spaces to have EV charge point socket access, there will be circumstances where there is not enough accessible spaces with access for the amount of drivers that need to use them, even if there is access to EV charge points in the wider car park. We believe though, that this will be very rare given current EV ownership numbers and that the provision of ducting infrastructure to all accessible spaces will also future-proof those spaces to allow building owners to install charge points when demand increases and, crucially, at a lower cost than they would have to do so if retrofitting their car park.

Finally, by ensuring minimum EV charge point provision in accessible spaces, and developers have the freedom to provide more than the minimum - as they do with the rest of the car park, particularly at a non-domestic building - it will provide a more accessible charging environment to blue badge holders, for example, and give them greater confidence to make their next car electric.

Accessibility of spaces

While the accessibility of parking spaces and EV charge points is not within the scope of this legislation, we do recognise that this policy will be a driver in the expansion of EV parking spaces and charging equipment, both public and private.

The design of public charge points is already carefully considered by operators, however consistent standards are crucial for drivers to easily identify which charge points are suitable for their needs. This could range from adequate space between bollards, charging units being of a height suitable for wheelchair users, size of the parking bay and the kerb height. The Department for Transport, The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, Motability and British Standards Institution have partnered to create a set of accessibility standards for electric vehicle charge points across the UK, which were released in October 2022. Transport Scotland represented the Scottish Government on the steering group featuring key experts from Government, industry and disability charities to collectively develop these standards.

Transport Scotland have been working closely with Scottish Enterprise to fund and support innovation in developing more accessible Electric Vehicle charge points following concerns raised by stakeholders on the accessibility of charge points. These innovation challenges have just finished their second phase with £390,000 of funding administered to support prototypes being installed in partnership with local authorities in Scotland.

To ensure outcomes of our current innovation challenges and user engagement is captured, Transport Scotland is working with The Department for Transport, the charity Motability, and the British Standards Institution on the development of Accessible Electric Vehicle Chargepoint standards. The set of advisory standards will provide specifications for the installers and operators of public charging infrastructure to ensure a more accessible and inclusive charging system across Scotland, and the UK as a whole.