Complete guide to the ChargePlace Scotland charging network
The ChargePlace Scotland charging network consists of over 1,000 electric-vehicle charging points across Scotland. A variety of slow and rapid chargers are spread around the country, making it perfectly possible to cross the UK's northernmost nation on electric power.
The network is funded by the Scottish Government, which has awarded grants to local authorities and organisations for the purpose of installing chargers. The network is run by – and is a part of – the UK-wide ChargeYourCar (CYC) network.
Those that receive funding for a ChargePlace Scotland charger are known as ‘hosts’: they're responsible for maintaining their charging points, and they can set and collect charging fees if they wish.
Lots of the charging points on the ChargePlace Scotland network are owned by businesses and destinations – such as hotels and shopping centres – which means their main purpose is to attract your custom, rather than make money themselves. For this reason, chargers at these locations are often free to use.
In the 2020 Driver Power survey of UK charging-point providers, ChargePlace Scotland was ranked third out of 10 charging network operators by electric-car owners. Respondents rated its charging facilities as good value and easy to use.
Charging on the ChargePlace Scotland network
To use the ChargePlace Scotland network, you need to sign up for an access card online at the network's website. You can do this on a computer or on a smartphone’s web browser, however there's no dedicated app, as is the case with some other networks.
After you’ve filled in your details, you then need to register a debit or credit card. You need this to pay for the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) card required to access the network: this costs £20 per year.
Once you’ve received your ChargePlace Scotland RFID card, you’re free to charge your electric car anywhere you like on the network. As mentioned above, charging tends to be free, although some ‘hosts’ do charge a parking fee in addition to a set amount for every kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed.
To check what chargers are available at any given time – and which ones incur a fee – simply have a look at the map on the ChargePlace Scotland website. This shows the exact location of each charger, the rate at which it’ll deliver power to your car, and what kind of connectors are available.
Some chargers also come with driving directions, as well as photographs of the charger itself, so you know exactly what to expect when you arrive. Type 2, CCS and CHAdeMO connectors are the most common on the ChargePlace Scotland network.
To give you an idea of charging times, a Type 2 charger running at 7kW will fully charge a 40kWh Nissan Leaf in around six hours, while a 50kW CHAdeMO charger should perform a 0-80% top-up in less than an hour.