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The degree to which off-street parking is available in an area will affect the anticipated level of demand as electric vehicle uptake grows and therefore the future need for public chargepoints. This is because most households with off-street parking are expected to to install their own private chargepoint at home and to do most of their charging there.

In Zap-Map’s latest EV charging survey across the UK (released in December 2022), 98% of respondents had private off-street parking, and 84% partake in home charging. These types of figures represent the early adopter profile of an electric vehicle driver. They are expected to be less reliant on a public network for their charging than the anticipated next wave of drivers, the early majority, many of whom will not have access to a private driveway. Having convenient, reliable access to public charging options in suitable locations will support those making the switch from ICE vehicles.

The image below gives a visual representation of the prevalence of off-street parking in areas throughout Scotland. Geographic information system (GIS) can be a useful tool to help to inform locations for charging infrastructure by overlaying spatial data with datasets such as this.

Densely populated urban centres in Scotland have residential areas without access to off-street parking, tenement flatted locations being an example. This is an important consideration, as tenement flats represent 28% of all dwelling types in urban Scotland.

Off-street parking provision is correlated with household income as wealthier households are generally more likely to have access to off-street parking. During 2019 and 2020, Energy Saving Trust sent out public engagement surveys, focusing on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, to residents of a number of Scottish local authorities. These surveys revealed that 41% of households with access to off-street parking had an annual income greater than £50,000, whereas only 25% of households without access to off-street parking had an annual income of this level. This shows that people with access to off-street parking, for example, a garage or driveway, are generally better off than those without. This means that areas with a lower average household income could potentially be targeted for public charging infrastructure projects, as demand is likely to be higher in those areas.

It is useful to build a picture of the current variation in access to public charging infrastructure across Scotland. The ‘National Ranking of EV Charge Point Coverage’ tool, provided by Field Dynamics and ZapMap, shows the proportion of on-street households that are within a five minute walk of a public chargepoint. The tool shows that, across Scotland, the level of access varies from 7% to over 42% depending on local authority area.

Map depicting the percentage of properties in areas across Scotland with no off-street parking. The lighter the shade of blue, the more likely it is that residents will have their own driveway or garage. In darker blue areas, residents with vehicles are more likely to need to park on the street.