Aberdeen’s Co-Wheels car club has become the first in Scotland to operate electric vehicles. The social enterprise has taken delivery of 3 Nissan Leafs which members can use at a cheaper rate than fossil-fuelled vehicles, and re-charge across the city, and a Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
The launch was attended by Cllr Willie Young of Aberdeen City Council, Tony Archer of Co-Wheels and Cllr Peter Argyle of Nestrans and followed the escapades of PlugIn Adventurers Chris Ramsay and Ross Mackay, who took one of the cars on a 1,500 mile trip from Aberdeen to Cardiff and back again in the course of four days, to prove that electric vehicles really are a viable option for long distance journeys and can be relied on for more than just the school run. The pair are working with Co-Wheels and Aberdeen City Council to raise the profile of electric cars and dispel many of the myths which still surround the vehicles.
Co-Wheels has grown steadily in Aberdeen and has established a name for itself nationwide as a ground-breaking organisation. It was the first in the world to trial hydrogen-powered cars, recently became the first in the UK to make wheelchair accessible vehicles available for hire, and is now the first Scottish car club to operate electric vehicles. It is ideally placed to do so. Aberdeen has been identified as a strategic hub in Scotland’s Plugged in Places project and was allocated £120,000 of grant funding to purchase and install electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The Plugged in Places project seeks to implement the UK’s first electric vehicle charging infrastructure and is funded by the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) which has given grant funding to eight areas of the UK to fund the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The seven other “plugged in places” are East of England, Greater Manchester, London, Midlands, Milton Keynes, North East England and Northern Ireland.
In Scotland, Transport Scotland, the Scottish Government Transport Agency, are running the project and also providing funding. Plugged in Places funding has also allowed the Energy Saving Trust in Scotland to offer funding to workplaces and home owners to install charging points.
The British government has set targets to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2027 and by 80% by 2050. Transport is recognised as one of the largest sources of CO2 emissions, and electric vehicles are seen as being a large part of the solution due to their zero tailpipe emissions.
Electric vehicle charging points are available to the public at the following locations in Aberdeen:
- Rapid charger (can charge two vehicles simultaneously) – Gallowgate car park, south side by exit, AB25 1DL and Sclattie Park car park, Bucksburn, AB21 9RG. Both are available 24 hours.
- Fast charger (can charge two vehicles at once) – Chapel Street car park, AB10 1ST (ground floor by exit) and Frederick Street car park, AB24 5HY (ground floor). Both are available 24 hours.
- Standard charger (can charge two vehicles at once) – Gallowgate car park, AB25 1DL (north side by entrance); West North Street car park, AB25 1DR (ground floor by entrance); Polmuir Road, AB11 7TH (at rear gates to Duthie Park); Kingswells Park and Ride, AB15 8PL (in upper car park). These are available 24 hours.
- Standard charger (can charge two vehicles at once) Marischal College car park, AB10 1AB (ground floor by entrance). Available on Thursday nights from 6pm to 8pm, Saturday from 8am to 6pm and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm.
More information is available on the Aberdeen City Council website at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/planning_environment/planning/transport/pla_electric_vehicle_charging.asp
For more information about Co-Wheels visit www.co-wheels.org.uk or call 08456 028030.
For an up to date list on other organisations that have charge points throughout the UK click on the following link: Open Charge Map