10 Economic Opportunity

10 Economic Opportunity

Advancing plug-in vehicles not only offers the potential to limit the effects of climate change and poor air quality, but also to capitalise on the economic opportunities that arise from these actions. The benefits to Scotland will accrue in the form of a secure domestic economy which is underpinned by sustainable low carbon activity and the development of new goods and services. This in turn will enhance Scotland's reputation as a key destination for low carbon investment. Furthermore, at the operational level, advancing plug-in vehicles also offers potential to make Scottish companies more efficient, profitable and competitive.

10.1 Opportunities to save money through plug-in vehicle adoption are understood and realised

Investing in plug-in vehicles will provide opportunities for individual users to save money and enable many public and private sector organisations to maximise profits. These opportunities already exist in applications of the currently available technologies and will become increasingly prevalent as the cost of plug-in vehicles further decreases and fossil fuels continue to become more expensive.

Figure 12: Economic opportunity timeline of key developments and enabling measures

Figure 12: Economic opportunity timeline of key developments and enabling measures

 

Many companies will therefore have compelling opportunities to save money by investing in plug-in vehicles. However, instead of judging EVs or PHEVs as a like-for-like replacement for fossil-fuelled vehicles, companies should be encouraged to consider ways to optimise the efficiency of their operations to reduce costs and broaden the potential applications for plug-in cars and vans.

The future potential for low-cost operation of plug-in vehicles could also help alleviate the increasing financial burden on Scottish households of running fossil-fuelled vehicles.

Action 12 Energy Saving Trust to continue to promote its support for Scottish businesses to adopt plug-in vehicles through EV Awareness Raising Workshops, Sustainable Transport Advice Service and Interest Free Low Carbon Transport Loans and FuelGood driver training Ongoing

 

Action 15 Transport Scotland to provide funding and work with partners to support evidence-based analysis of public sector fleets to create new opportunities for the deployment of plug-in vehicles 2013-15

 

Action 21 Transport Scotland to develop an outreach and education strategy for plug-in vehicles 2013-15

 

10.2 Plug-in vehicles make Scottish business more competitive

Plug-in vehicles provide an opportunity to improve the competitive positioning of businesses. For example, significant marketing capital can be gained by both small and large businesses through early market adoption of plug-in vehicles and provision of charge points. This provides a point of differentiation from competitors and a clear communication of an organisation's values.

In the longer term, it will be important to consider the potential competitive costs for businesses that fail to make this transition. Fossil fuel prices are not only expected to continue to increase but also to become more volatile. This will leave organisations exposed to fluctuations in global markets and create uncertainty on financial returns. Moreover, companies that fail to adjust their operations and business models to meet changing consumer expectations could run the risk of losing customers.

Scottish businesses therefore need to be made aware of the commercial arguments for investing in plug-in vehicles and supported in making this transition.

Action 12 Energy Saving Trust to continue to promote its support for Scottish businesses to adopt plug-in vehicles through EV Awareness Raising Workshops, Sustainable Transport Advice Service and Interest Free Low Carbon Transport Loans and FuelGood driver training Ongoing

 

Car - Source: Urban Foresight Limited

 

10.3 Jobs are created across the entire plug-in vehicle value chain

Scotland is home to a number of businesses that are directly involved in the manufacture and production of electric and hybrid vehicle technologies. This includes advanced batteries made by Axeon in Dundee, plug-in vans produced by Allied Vehicles in Glasgow, and Falkirk is home to both Tennent Green Machines' electric road sweepers and Alexander Dennis' hybrid electric buses.

Scotland also has the skills and supply chains to support successful industries in the design, development and production of high value products, for example, Artemis Intelligent Power design and manufacture hybrid car and truck transmissions in Edinburgh.

There will be further job creation opportunities beyond the manufacture of vehicles and batteries. This includes the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of recharging technologies.

New business models and innovations will also be required in the provision of plug-in vehicles and charge points. Opportunities will arise in areas including sales, servicing, finance and insurance. There will be a growth in services linked to the operation of charge points, the provision of parking and the retail of electricity.

Many of these developments will require new software and administrative services for functions such as billing, account management and systems integration. Moreover, there will be related customer-focused opportunities in the provision of information, advertising and related digital services.

Advancing plug-in vehicles as part of a smart, sustainable and integrated transport system could also create new opportunities for Scottish businesses. A particular area of strength in Scotland is Intelligent Transport Systems. Developments in this sector will deliver valuable technologies and services to plug-in drivers, such as tracking and telemetry, mobile information, smart and integrated payment technologies, and cooperative systems to enable communication between vehicles and with infrastructure.

Developments in plug-in vehicles will be part of the wider transformation of how energy grids are developed and operated. This will create new opportunities and innovations in the supply, metering and management of energy systems. Ancillary services will be developed to support and maintain the reliable operation of the interconnected transmission system. This will create a range of revenue generating opportunities with advances in demand response, vehicle- to-grid, energy storage and other grid support services.

To realise the job creation potential afforded by increased adoption of plug-in vehicles, Scottish businesses should be engaged and given appropriate support. This includes the provision of training, guidance and advice to ensure that these organisations can access the necessary skills to grow their workforce and, if necessary, diversify to capitalise on emerging commercial opportunities.

Action 34 Scottish Enterprise to unite, understand, support and strengthen Smart Mobility activity including (but not limited to) Transport Systems, Informatics and Energy Companies from which economic benefits flow. This will include growing capability and capacity around Smart Mobility, stimulating projects, realising benefits and expanding global reach 2013-14

 

Action 16 The Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and partners in the public and private sector to promote Scotland as an attractive location to introduce new consumer offerings and mobility services for plug-in vehicles Ongoing

 

CASE STUDY:
R.B. GRANT DIVERSIFY INTO CHARGE POINT INSTALLATION

Fife-based Electrical Contractors, R.B. Grant, recognised the economic and staff development opportunities for their business by diversifying into the installation of recharging points. Owner Ronnie Grant explains:

"I have been watching the rise of the electric vehicle market for a few years now as both a lover of motors and energy efficient products. When I became aware that the Scottish Government would facilitate the deployment of EV charging infrastructure it was with some joy that I realised our company could become involved with installation works. Working closely with a charging point manufacturer we have installed a number of charging points which will be added to Scotland's EV charging network. This is of course had economic benefits to the company but more importantly a training exercise for our employees including our young apprentices. This training will give us a head start into what I think will be a rising market with charging points hopefully being installed in most homes and places of work."

10.4 Scotland capitalises on its research expertise and intellectual capital

The intellectual capital in Scottish businesses, universities, colleges and research institutions offers significant potential to advance plug-in vehicles and related technologies. This expertise can also help shape future policy, business models and deliver a qualified workforce to support this growing industry.

Scotland's business support landscape offers opportunities to support commercialisation and innovation across the entire value chain of products and services related to plug-in vehicles. Existing grants and support services should be targeted to enable the development and demonstration of emerging plug-in vehicle technologies, as well as innovations in related transport and energy services.

Research applications and funding should be encouraged in areas that will help solve problems and create new economic opportunities for Scotland. Collaboration across the public, private and academic sectors should be facilitated to ensure that research is targeted at the most crucial areas and to provide a pathway to implementation and commercialisation.

Organisations across Scotland should also be encouraged to submit relevant projects to European Framework programmes and UK funders such as the Technology Strategy Board. In particular, participation in collaborative projects will provide access to international expertise and a forum to promote Scotland as a leading location for research and investments.

Action 8 Scottish Government and its partners to continue to engage with international plug-in vehicle networks and projects to attract funding and support policy debates Ongoing

 

Action 16 The Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and partners in the public and private sector to promote Scotland as an attractive location to introduce new consumer offerings and mobility services for plug-in vehicles Ongoing

 

Action 34 Scottish Enterprise to unite, understand, support and strengthen Smart Mobility activity including (but not limited to) Transport Systems, Informatics and Energy Companies from which economic benefits flow. This will include growing capability and capacity around Smart Mobility, stimulating projects, realising benefits and expanding global reach 2013-14

 

CASE STUDY:
ST. ANDREWS BATTERY RESEARCH COULD BOOST EV RANGE

Research at St. Andrews University in Lithium-air battery research could enable EVs to travel much further and faster than current models. Professor Peter Bruce of St. Andrews University said:

"New generations of rechargeable lithium batteries could extend the range of electric vehicles enabling them to travel further than current models before needing recharged, making them a more realistic option for drivers who wish to travel greater distances. They could also help to balance the intermittent supply of electricity from renewable sources - such as wind and wave power - with consumer demand, a key challenge in making renewable energy viable and which would provide enormous potential for Scotland which has an increasing emphasis on renewable energies."

Car - Source: Edinburgh College