By Nick Morrison
Monday saw a meeting of the Scottish Parliamentary Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee at the Stromness Campus attended by Jamie Halcro Johnston MSP, Gordon Macdonald MSP and Andy Wightman MSP as well as Scottish Government officials. Meeting the Demands of Green Energy in the Future: EVs
This was followed by an OREF presentation by Martin Lee and Neil Kermode on EV’s (electric vehicles) in Orkney.
Orkney has one of the highest uptakes of EV’s in the country with some 250 and about 10,000 fossil fuelled vehicles.
There was much discussion on the early efforts at providing EV charging points. One instance was cited where the only way to get access for charging was to park on the pavement.
The parlous sate of charging points in rural Scotland was covered in depth by Martin.
So how bad is it? Very!
Last Saturday saw the NW part of the NC500 closed to EV’s as was the road from Inverness to Skye.
The OREF EV data base has instances of EV drivers having to be rescued by breakdown trucks and having to get overnight hotel accommodation because of faulty charging points. The situation is so bad that some family groups in Orkney are keeping a fossil fuelled vehicle just for trips “sooth”.
The data bases which are supposed to show the serviceability of charging points are also unreliable. Two of the biggest problems identified were a lack of redundancy at charging points, you need at least 2 per site and a lack of urgency over getting faults rectified by the authorities concerned.
A well attended meeting , our OREF presenters were certainly telling it like it was.