South Ayrshire leading the way on electric car infrastructure

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South Ayrshire is leading the way on electric car charging points, according to a new government league table.

But Transport Minister Grant Shapps has called on councils to do more to make electric cars the “new normal”, after figures revealed gaps in the country’s electric infrastructure.

The Department for Transport estimates there were 45 public charging devices in South Ayrshire at the beginning of October.

That’s a rate of 30 devices per 100,000 people, significantly higher than the UK average.

The area boasts seven rapid charge points among its electric infrastructure, which can crank most electric car batteries up to 100% in under half an hour.

These are much faster than regular devices, which can take up to eight hours to charge a car.

Local authorities in the UK have access to a £5 million fund to help build up their electric infrastructure.

Mr Shapps said: “Your postcode should play no part in how easy it is to use an electric car, and I’m determined electric vehicles become the new normal for drivers.

“It’s good news there are now more charging locations than petrol stations, but the clear gaps in provision are disappointing.”

He urged councils in areas with poor provision to apply for funding to make sure their drivers don’t miss out.

The DfT used information from the platform Zap-Map, which says it has details of around 95% of publicly accessible charge points.

Scotland leads the way among the four nations of the UK, clocking up 1,743 devices, or 32 per 100,000 people.

That’s far higher than the UK average of 23 per 100,000, while Northern Ireland trails the pack on just 16.

However, RAC director Steve Gooding said simply “totting up” the number of charge points reveals nothing about whether councils are choosing the best locations for motorists.

He said: “The fact that central government is making funds available to councils to install charge points is welcome, but without accompanying advice on where best to locate them it shouldn’t surprise us that many authorities are stalling on how best to proceed.

“Ideally, we’d have a sustained grant programme married to a national strategy, including guidance for locating on-street chargers and a plan for creating a network of rapid chargers for people on the move.”