5 Electric Mobility Services
In addition to establishing solid foundations in the form of infrastructure and early-market support, there is also a need to encourage the development of new business models, technologies and incentives that will make EVs more cost effective and convenient to use. Such developments will also improve the overall experience of using an EV, improve cultural acceptance of these new technologies and bring new customers into the market. Examples identified in the consultation to develop this action plan are summarised in Table 1.
Table 1: Examples of developments in electric mobility services that could improve the cost, convenience and cultural acceptance of EVs.
Business & operating models
- Vehicle and battery leasing
- Car clubs/ car sharing
- Private infrastructure networks (e.g. for specific makes of vehicle, taxi operators, logistics companies)
- Integration with other transport modes
- Parking services
- Energy storage and grid services
- EV filling stations/ low carbon transport hubs
- First/ last mile logistics
- Bundled service offerings (e.g. leasing agreements, energy supply contracts)
- Performance-based contracting, public private partnerships and new financing models
- Network communications
- Charge point fault detection and reporting
- Real-time availability
- Smart ticketing
- Booking and payment platforms
- Mapping and journey planning
- High power charging
- Wireless charging
- Bidirectional charging/ vehicle-to-X
- Connected and autonomous vehicles
- Preferential parking
- Access to bus lanes
- EV-only taxi ranks
- Low emission zones
- Tariff models
- Non-financial incentives (e.g. time saving, status, convenience, community benefit)
5.1 Progress to Date
A number of actions have already been taken to improve the experience of driving EVs in Scotland:
- In August 2016, Charge Your Car was appointed as the operator of the ChargePlace Scotland network and committed in its contract to provide an enhanced customer service interface with 24/7 telephone helpdesk, dedicated Twitter and Facebook social media platforms, an enhanced fault management system and a new dedicated ChargePlace Scotland Operations Manager based in Scotland.
- Transport Scotland, COSLA, SCOTS, and local authorities worked together to explore the potential for local electric vehicle incentives to be introduced in Scotland. This resulted in the publication of 'A National Framework of Local Incentives for Electric Vehicles'  in October 2016.
- In 2016, the Transport Scotland funded Developing Car Clubs in Scotland programme, run by Carplus, had supported the introduction of 82 EVs to car clubs across the country, more than the rest of the UK combined at that time.
- There has also been targeted investment to provide charge points at hubs for multi-modal journeys including installations at 11 ferry terminals and at Park & Ride sites. As part of the ScotRail franchise agreement, Abellio ScotRail are committed to providing charging facilities at 50 stations across Scotland by the end of 2017.
- Through its Low Carbon Travel and Transport Pre-Application Support Fund, Transport Scotland provided financial support (of £332,000 in 2016/17) to 32 public, third and community sector organisations to review opportunities to deploy low carbon travel and transport hubs. This included the ambition of stimulating innovation to facilitate integration between transport modes and, for a significant number of these, to enhance the overall experience of EV charging.
5.2 Forward Actions
Four actions will be taken to develop services that further improve the convenience, cost-effectiveness and cultural acceptance of using EVs in Scotland:
Action 6: Improve the user experience of the ChargePlace Scotland network.
A key component of the experience of using an electric vehicle is recharging. Working with the ChargePlace Scotland operator, and other partners, Transport Scotland will continue to look at ways to enhance the charging experience.
This includes continuing to work with the ChargePlace Scotland network operator to improve reliability and fault management. The charge point network relies on the mobile phone network which can have limited coverage in some areas. Solutions will be explored to improve network telecommunications.
Increased use of social media, further stakeholder engagement and other communications channels will help to improve the driver experience from home to destination. In addition, the role of new technologies such as booking and alternative payment methods will be explored.
Action 7: Support the development of innovative EV charging hubs across Scotland.
EV charging hubs are an innovative new development that have the potential to facilitate the provision of new mobility services, enhanced user experiences and deliver efficiencies in the deployment of infrastructure for sustainable transport and linked smart grid technologies. The concept is somewhat flexible, but hubs can offer infrastructure at a single location to support a variety of different modes of transport, from walking and cycling to electric bicycles, cars, taxis and buses, and hydrogen vehicles.
Increased provision of clusters of charge points will reduce waiting times to recharge and give users options to select the appropriate higher or lower powered charge point depending on their needs.
By placing an emphasis on innovation at these hubs, there are also opportunities to encourage pilots of new technologies and business models that will further improve the experience and potentially the cost of recharging.
Through the first phase of the European Regional Development Fund Low Carbon Travel and Transport Programme, Transport Scotland as Lead Partner, has been awarded £7.6 million to December 2018 to invest in the development of low carbon travel and transport hubs across Scotland, which includes electric vehicle charging facilities.
RUGGEDISED (Rotterdam Umea and Glasgow: Generating Exemplar Demonstrations in Sustainable Energy Districts) is a smart city project funded under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Working in partnership with businesses and research centres, the cities will demonstrate how to combine ICT, e-mobility and energy solutions to design smart, resilient cities for all. Part of the Glasgow project will focus on the deployment of rapid EV chargers in Duke Street car park to increase revenue opportunities, and supporting the development of electric taxis in the city. These chargers will be powered by renewable energy and connected to an innovative smart grid with battery storage, ensuring that EVs have a minimal impact on the environment and play an important part of cities carbon reduction strategies. Implementation of LED street lighting EV chargers will also increase on-street charging availability.
These investments will also offer opportunities to encourage the integration of EV charging with other sustainable transport modes.
Action 8: Support local authorities in deploying measures that encourage adoption of EVs.
Local authorities are best placed to understand the needs of their communities, and have a range of powers that can be used to support and incentivise electric vehicle adoption. To assist local authorities in exploring solutions to encourage EV use, Transport Scotland will explore the development of a programme that provides support to allow the identification of practical and affordable measures that meet the needs of local communities and encourage adoption of EVs. This will also explore the development of innovative solutions to important challenges, such as infrastructure solutions for residents of flats and tenements.
Action 9: Consider the impact of emerging technologies and business models on EV adoption and infrastructure deployment.
The rapid pace of technological development and business model innovations are changing the way people travel and interact with transport services. Mobile technologies, connected and autonomous vehicles, big data, wireless charging, bidirectional charging, energy storage and mobility as a service platforms are all examples of disruptive developments that could enhance the convenience and value of EVs.
Transport Scotland will continue to review such developments and work to realise opportunities to positively influence the use of EVs, the provision of infrastructure and to understand what steps could be taken to realise wider benefits.