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As the volume of charging infrastructure grows, it’s important that everyone can easily access it. There has been criticism that many existing public chargepoints in Scotland are not fit for use by population segments with disabilities and/or some other vulnerabilities.

There are over 14 million disabled people in the UK, with 2.35 million vehicle drivers and passengers accessing the blue badge parking scheme, and 44% of over 65s considered to have a disability. By 2035, it’s expected that 1.35 million blue badge holders will be partially or wholly reliant on public chargepoint infrastructure.

Disabilities may be physical, relating to mobility or dexterity, but could also refer to communication, vision, cognition or mental health. When designing inclusive chargepoints, it’s important you consider as wide a range of vulnerabilities as possible, to ensure equity of access for all.

As of February 2023, according to the Zap-Map website, there were over 3,800 public chargepoint devices in Scotland. Based upon projections for the number of public chargepoints needed in the UK from the Climate Change Committee, Transport Scotland anticipates there to be around 30,000 installed in Scotland by 2030.

As such, putting in appropriate accessibility measures now is pivotal to save on the cost, energy use and resource time associated with retrofitting solutions across many thousands of sites later.

In this section we look at how you can ensure your chargepoints provide adequate accessibility, with the key recommendation being to follow BSI standard PAS 1899:2022. We examine some challenges presented by inaccessible electric vehicle charging infrastructure designs, and mention some of the solutions being employed or developed to address these. We also share additional recommended resources, and highlight a case study.