4 The way forward

4 The way forward

4.1 Realising Scotland's Ambition

Achieving the Roadmap vision requires an ambitious long-term transformation that extends to 2050. The following chapters set out the important changes that will need to occur for towns, cities and communities across Scotland to be free from the damaging emissions of petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles.

This has been informed by a series of workshops and consultations that were undertaken by the E-cosse partnership. The workshops brought together a wide range of stakeholders to identify the barriers that need to be overcome, as set out in Table 1, and the measures that will enable this change. This process established that progress is needed in seven key areas, for which corresponding goals have been set.

The following chapters outline the important developments identified in the consultation which would enable Government and wider stakeholders to achieve these seven goals. In addition to describing these necessary long-term changes, each section also identifies short-term actions that the Scottish Government will take to help enable this change. Chapter 12, explains how these short-term actions can be grouped and shown to contribute to cross-cutting objectives for Government to guide long-term progress.

1 POLICY FRAMEWORKS Plug-in vehicles are embedded in all relevant areas of policy and advance progress on climate change, air quality, renewables, energy security and public health.
2 MARKET DEVELOPMENT Plug-in vehicles become more desirable than fossil-fuelled alternatives.
3 RECHARGING Targeted, convenient and safe recharging infrastructure is deployed across Scotland to meet the changing needs of the market.
4 SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT Plug-in vehicles promote more sustainable transport systems rather than adding to existing problems.
5 ENERGY SYSTEMS Scotland's electricity grid supports market growth of plug-in vehicles and is made smarter by controlled charging and distributed energy storage.
6 ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY Early leadership in advancing plug-in vehicles creates jobs and makes Scottish businesses more competitive.
7 COMMUNICATION & EDUCATION Increased awareness and confidence in plug-in vehicles encourages widespread adoption.

 

Table 1: Key barriers to plug-in vehicle adoption
Barrier Description
High purchase cost EVs and PHEVs retail at higher prices than comparable ICE models.
Limited range of EVs and range anxiety Drivers place a high utility on the ability to drive long distances, even if such trips are rare.
Availability of recharging infrastructure Perceptions of the public recharging infrastructure network, the time required to recharge and issues associated with 'range anxiety'.
Ability to value whole-life running costs of vehicles Consumers mainly concentrate on the purchase price as opposed to the whole-life benefits such as lower maintenance and fuel costs.
Residual value Uncertainty about the extent to which EVs will retain their value for resale and the effects of depreciation of batteries.
Lack of public awareness and knowledge The current level of public awareness and knowledge of EVs is low, with the average consumer having little understanding about their operation, driving experience and potential benefits. Furthermore, improvements in EV performance and efficiency are only of use if consumers are aware of them.
Aversion to new technology Consumers can be cautious and prefer familiar and trusted technologies.
Performance and choice of vehicles EVs will possibly not be suitable for all applications and there is a limited choice in the early market for consumers.
Lifespan of batteries Questions about the longevity of batteries, how this will affect performance and residual value.
Capacity of local distribution networks Large numbers of drivers recharging at similar times will place significant pressure on the local electricity distribution network.
Backing the wrong technology Perceptions that EVs may ultimately be superseded by other technologies such as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Green credentials The carbon intensity of electricity generation, concerns about the whole-life impact of EVs and the sustainability of materials required for battery production.
Lack of allocated parking for domestic recharging The ability to recharge an EV at home is dependent on the availability of allocated and ideally off-street parking.
Lack of aftersales support networks Uncertainty about the availability of support and necessary skills at dealerships, garages and breakdown services.
Business models The long-term commercial viability of business models associated with the provision of EVs and recharging infrastructure.
Risk of lack of standardisation and interoperability The lack of common standards for plugs, sockets, access keys and ICT systems could impact the confidence of consumers and manufacturers.
End of life of batteries The capital and environmental cost of disposing of batteries once they have reached the end of their natural life.

 

The Scottish Government, the wider public sector and industry decision-makers will all individually and collectively need to establish the necessary policy frameworks to both guide and accelerate the widespread adoption of plug-in vehicles. Embedding plug-in vehicles into relevant national, local and organisational policies and strategies will motivate the required support, funding and commitments to change. It will also help to realise the full potential for plug-in vehicles to contribute to advances in related policy objectives.