Scotland’s hospitality and leisure sectors are being encouraged to fit multiple new electric vehicle charge points to their premises in order to meet the demands of rising numbers of electric vehicles on the country’s roads.
The Electric Vehicle Association Scotland says that hoteliers, B&B owners, restaurateurs, self-catering and leisure businesses throughout the country should see this as not only a way of helping fight climate change but as an additional incentive for future guests and a positive boost to business.
As staycation holidays have become more popular than ever, EVA Scotland – the voice of EV drivers north of the border – is also advocating that the Scottish government, local authorities and industry capitalise on the surge in popularity of electric vehicles.
“With more and more holidaymakers coming to Scotland every year and with increasing numbers driving electric vehicles, this is an ideal opportunity for our highly respected hospitality and catering sector to further increase their services to a rapidly growing number of EV motorists and their families,” said EVA Scotland director, Neil Swanson.
He added: “In the not too distant future, having EV charge points will be more of an attraction to potential guests than a swimming pool or spa treatments! Hotels, restaurants, cafes and leisure facilities providing charging points would be an ideal way for guests to top up their vehicles, stay longer and enjoy the services provided.”
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) electric vehicle ownership in the UK is forecast to rise from its present 100,000+ to a predicted two million by next year. In Scotland alone there was a 53.8% rise in EV ownership last year.
Part of the worldwide Global Vehicle Alliance (GEVA) organisation, EVA Scotland believes that, with grants and loans now available through national and local government to help with installation costs, now is the ideal time for Scotland’s hospitality industry to “take the initiative to attract more EV drivers by providing more charging points at their premises.”
Neil Swanson added: “With EV car ownership throughout the UK now rising rapidly it’s clear, the popularity of electric vehicles is growing exponentially.
“Some forward-thinking business owners have already realised that having electric vehicle charge points available for guests has become a significant attraction. The benefits can make a real positive contribution to Scotland’s tourism, leisure industries and overall economy but the EV charge point installation must accelerate.
“There has to be a greater determination to go the extra mile and expand this much further. Seizing this opportunity surely makes good business sense.
“By having a charging infrastructure with attractive pricing will provide not only an additional income stream for those in the hospitality sector but also offer the potential to encourage customers to stay longer.”
Janie Neumann, VisitScotland’s Sustainable Tourism Manager, said: “Climate change is the biggest long- term challenge facing Scottish tourism now, and in the future, and we want to inspire future generations to say that Scotland’s tourism and events industry led the way and made a difference.
“Over the coming months, as part of the Destination Net Zero programme we will be launching a dedicated EV Charge Point fund which will support tourism and hospitality businesses and expand Scotland’s electric vehicle charge point network.
“This fund will enable businesses to position sustainability at the heart of their recovery and ensure their offering will make it easier for visitors to make environmentally conscious travel decisions.”