Bute’s first public charging point for electric vehicles has been installed in the centre of Rothesay - although it won’t be ready for use for several weeks.
The facility will make the prospect of owning and operating an electric vehicle much more attractive for residents of, and visitors to, the island - not least because of a 50 per cent fare discount which is applied to electric vehicles on CalMac’s Rothesay-Wemyss Bay ferry crossing.
That discount was introduced by the Scottish Government in September 2013 - though, as we pointed out at the time, it was rendered effectively useless by the lack of charging points for vehicles which tend to have a range of only 50 miles or so.
A Transport Scotland spokesperson confirmed that that 2013 discount scheme is still in place.
An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said the new equipment, provided with funding support from the same Transport Scotland, would be operational “in a matter of weeks”.
It is expected to take two hours to fully charge an electric vehicle at the new facility, though the council is also working towards installing ‘rapid charging points’ at other locations in Argyll and Bute.
The new charging point’s arrival coincides nicely - if, apparently, accidentally - with the unveiling of a new hybrid car for the fleet of Rothesay-based car club Car Bute, taking place in Guildford Square today (Saturday, July 4).
After noticing the charging point for the first time we rang Fyne Futures, the local social enterprise which runs Car Bute, to find out more, and discovered they knew nothing about the new facility.
The nearest operational charging points to Bute are located at Kennacraig in Kintyre and Brodick on Arran, with marginally less inconvenient facilities at the Braehead shopping centre and Irvine.