A new one-card system making it easier for electric vehicle (EV) drivers to connect to Scotland’s charging network is being tested next week – starting in Caithness.
The roaming platform will allow access and billing on multiple billing systems. It will be tested on the Great British EV Rally which sets off from John O’Groats to Land’s End on Monday.
The Paua platform, backed by Transport Scotland, is set to roll out across the UK soon.
Paua, the largest independent developer of electric vehicle roaming networks, has partnered with ChargePlace Scotland (CPS), Scotland’s national electric vehicle charging network.
The platform gives private and professional electric vehicle drivers access to several Scottish charging networks.
Chris Waldron, Low Carbon Consumer Manager at Transport Scotland, said: “We are delighted to have entered into this partnership with Paua. The Scottish Government is strongly committed to decarbonising transport and we see roaming as a key step to improving the driver experience.
“The GB EV Rally is the perfect event to test network roaming across ChargePlace Scotland.”
Niall Riddell, CEO and co-founder of Paua, said: “Electric vehicle drivers today face a challenge when they want to charge across multiple networks, as they have to contract with each one separately – and that’s is a particular problem for companies and fleet drivers.
The new charging station system has been well received by the Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) Scotland.
Its director, Neil MacLennan, said: “Making the process of charging and billing electric vehicles simple to understand and easy to use is essential both for the daily user experience and for a practical perspective on connectivity and cross-system billing.
“These are the key factors in persuading both the mainstream electric vehicle driver and fleet operators willing to make the transition to all-electric transport to do so.
“EVA Scotland has advocated for a roaming service that brings together a unified system that reduces the number of cards, apps and tariffs that EV drivers currently have to juggle.
“Having a single payment card allowing access to all networks must be the solution. We are encouraged by this partnership and believe it represents a unique opportunity to improve the charging experience for electric vehicle drivers.
Vehicles taking part in the five-day Great British EV Rally will congregate at Castle Mey before continuing to Groats.
The event follows the EV Rally of Scotland last November which coincided with the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow. The aim was to present electric vehicles as a viable alternative to traditional petrol and diesel vehicles.
ChargePlace was developed by the Scottish Government and funded in partnership with a public grant from local authorities and other organisations.