VisitScotland is the national tourism organisation for Scotland. The organisation supporting the rebuilding of the visitor economy, post COVID-19, in a responsible way, to boost tourism in Scotland. This is with a focus on industry engagement on sustainable practices and the transition to a low-carbon future, supporting Scotland’s ambitious Net zero 2045 targets.
Energy Saving Trust was asked to support with an electric vehicle (EV) charge point project that was part of the Destination Net Zero funding programme. This funding programme is a key part of the Scottish Government’s Tourism Recovery Programme and is being delivered on behalf of the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG).
To complement the EV charge point grant funding available to tourism businesses, VisitScotland wanted to gain a better understanding of the level of EV charging infrastructure available along popular tourist driving routes in Scotland.
A gap analysis was conducted which looked at charging infrastructure along 28 designated tourist routes. The aim was to confirm which routes already had sufficient charging infrastructure, and highlight those with gaps that could negatively impact the experience of visitors touring in an EV.
Once infrastructure gaps had been identified, the plan was to pinpoint key tourism businesses in those areas that would be prime candidates to install charge points. VisitScotland wanted to confirm the type of charge point that would be most appropriate to install in each location. Target tourism businesses could then be contacted and encouraged to take advantage of the available EV charge point funding. These businesses would then be able to enhance their offering to customers and improve the experience of visitors touring Scotland in EVs.
To complete this project, VisitScotland needed technical support to both analyse the charge point distribution data and to confirm the most appropriate charge points to install in various locations.
Energy Saving Trust primarily provided geographical information system (GIS) expertise to highlight any gaps in charging infrastructure along the tourist driving routes. They produced heat maps showing the variation in distance to the nearest charge point along the length of the routes. This highlighted the sections of the routes with limited or no access to charging infrastructure. Energy Saving Trust then compiled a target list of tourism businesses located near these gap areas and made recommendations on the type of charging infrastructure that would be suitable for each business.
The heat maps developed for the 28 designated driving routes across Scotland will help to inform the promotion of these routes to potential customers with electric vehicles. The analysis has also helped identify opportunities to target investment to improve the overall visitor experience for EV drivers.