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The following three approaches may be useful when developing material to support public education around electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

  • An education strategy that aims to win people over will need to tailor its messaging for different audiences and demographics, as some will be more receptive to environmental issues than others. Opinions may vary depending on age, income bracket and cultural background.

    Education materials should be tailored to suit the demographics of the local community. As outlined in ‘Scotland’s census – inhabited islands analytical report’, islands for example have a higher proportion of older residents in comparison with the rest of Scotland. Information and education tools and strategies regarding projects in these areas should therefore be tailored to suit an older audience. This could mean a greater focus on in-person engagement strategies and on using information mediums that the older generation are more likely to use, such as community newsletters and adverts in local newspapers.

    For some, years of experience driving ICE vehicles will mean a significant mindset and behaviour shift is required for them to switch to electric vehicles. They are likely to need more educational support than other more receptive groups before they can make this switch. You should therefore assess the potential user groups in the community where your project is planned. Then design an education strategy that targets these groups in appropriate ways.

    Different stakeholders will be drawn to different potential benefits of the charging infrastructure. Some will view improvements to local air quality and the reduction in carbon emissions as the key benefit. Others will be more interested in the potential for new job creation, for instance as a result of the servicing and maintenance work required for the vehicles and their supporting infrastructure.

    Education activity should therefore take place both before and after the public charging infrastructure is installed. In both cases the aim is to encourage as many people to use the infrastructure as possible.

  • One useful approach to support behaviour change is myth busting and the dispelling of misinformation. A good example of this was the leaflet released by DfT in July 2022 titled ‘common misconceptions about electric vehicles’.

    Another example of misinformation that is not included in the leaflet is the claim that electric vehicles are worse for air quality because of increased tyre and brake wear owing to being heavier. Brake wear has been proven to be demonstrably lower than ICE vehicles due to regenerative braking (in fact, brake pads on London electric taxis are lasting 100k miles compared to 10k on diesel taxis), tyre wear is broadly similar, and exhaust emissions are eliminated. Dundee meeting key air quality targets for the first time in 2018 has been attributed to many diesel vehicles in the city changing to electric models.

  • It’s important that communication materials are designed to be accessible and easy to understand. This means using plain language, avoiding complex terminology and explaining concepts in as straightforward a manner as possible.

    Energy Saving Trust is delivering the Scottish Government’s low emission zone support fund. This is funding to help businesses change their fleets to be compliant with Scotland’s low emission zones. To promote this fund, we developed an information leaflet, the cover of which can be seen in the first image below. The leaflet carefully explains the low emission zones, how they are likely to impact businesses in the affected areas, the support available and how to access this. You can find the full leaflet on our website.

    This is a good example of how to design communication materials. The tone and language has been designed to be simple and easy to understand so that as wide an audience as possible is able to digest the information.

    You can also enhance the impact of marketing materials by incorporating new interactive elements, such as QR codes. The second image below shows an example of this. It is a promotion for our ebike business loan, featuring a QR code that people can scan to obtain more info on this support scheme. Marketing tools such as this could be used at community engagement and information events.

Cover page of an Energy Saving Trust leaflet developed for the low emission zone support fund.


Cover page of an Energy Saving Trust leaflet featuring a QR code, developed for the ebike business loan scheme.