Project PACE powers 300,000 miles of EV driving

A project to create more than 40 electric vehicle charging hubs across Lanarkshire has provided 82MWh of energy to electric vehicles allowing almost 300,000 miles to be driven using green transport.

By the end of this year, 12 of the new ‘Project PACE’ charging hubs will be available for public use, with a further 16 locations across Lanarkshire due to go live early in the new year. The project is on track to deliver over 40 EV charging hubs by April 2021.

As Scotland prepares to host the UN COP26 Climate Change Summit in Glasgow next year, the charging hubs are being delivered through a strategic partnership between SP Energy Networks and the Scottish Government. The first site was opened by the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity at Strathclyde Country Park in August this year.

Project PACE is being facilitated by North and South Lanarkshire Councils, who are working in collaboration with Transport Scotland and SP Energy Networks in order to test a new approach to planning and delivering EV charging infrastructure.

The charging hubs built so far have been used over 4,500 times, proving to be popular with EV drivers throughout Lanarkshire.

In total, Project PACE will deliver around 180 EV chargers across more than 40 EV charging hubs in North and South Lanarkshire by April next year. The project will increase the number of EV chargers in Scotland as a whole by around 14%, compared to the baseline in December 2019, and is expected to accommodate the charging of an additional 5,000 electric vehicles.

As well as benefits for the environment, the project offers substantial savings for customers, with each PACE charging hub expected to save between £30,000 and £60,000 on electricity grid connection costs per new location. This equates to a total of between £1.3million to £2.6million of taxpayer money saved across all the planned sites.

Scott Mathieson, director of network planning and regulation at SP Energy Networks, said: “The benefits of Project PACE are already clear as we reach the halfway point in this pioneering project. It’s particularly pleasing to be delivering the project on budget and on time as we begin to see the environmental and financial benefits it creates.

“We’re proud to be leading the way when it comes to meeting both Scottish and UK Government net zero targets and Project PACE is a blueprint for collaborative working towards the roll out of EV charging across the country.

“This project is vital to delivering the ambitious goals set out in the Scottish Government’s recently updated climate change plan which includes the world-leading interim goal of a 75% reduction in emissions by 2030.

“We’re committed to ensuring every community has access to electric vehicle charging points and supporting the country as a whole as we work towards a green economic recovery that maximises opportunities to build a thriving, sustainable economy.”

SP Energy Networks has strategically chosen locations for each charging hub that make the most of the existing electricity network in places that are likely to be of use to members of the local community.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “It’s great to see the continued progress of Project PACE to this midway point. Already, we’re beginning to get a sense of the positive impact this work is already having across Lanarkshire and for the wider environment.

“The delivery of electric vehicle infrastructure is an important part of our green recovery. It provides work and economic stimulus across Scotland as we move to a net-zero economy. Of course, we need to see modal shift away from cars – but for those who require a private vehicle, decarbonisation is an important part of achieving the world-leading targets outlined in our updated Climate Change Plan.”

Project PACE aims to help achieve ambitious plans by the Scottish Government to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. Transport Scotland’s investment of £5.3 million will deliver up to 180 new public EV charge points for the ChargePlace Scotland network which will more than triple EV charging capacity across Lanarkshire by April 2021.

Photo courtesy of SP Energy Networks.

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