ChargePlace Scotland - An extensive handbook

Powering Scotland: A guide to ChargePlace Scotland’s charging stations

Imagine driving through the serene landscapes of the Scottish countryside, or perhaps you’re simply driving to work or leisurely running errands when suddenly, you realise your electric car battery will need a recharge soon.

Where will you charge your electric car in Scotland?

The ChargePlace Scotland (CPS Scotland) charging network is your answer.

But with thousands of chargers across Scotland, people often ask: Are Charge Place Scotland charging points free? Where can I find ChargePlace Scotland charging stations? Does CPS offer rapid charging?

We will deep dive into everything related to ChargePlace Scotland’s public charging network.

What is ChargePlace Scotland?

To give a brief overview, ChargePlace Scotland is a network of public electric vehicle charging stations owned by the Scottish government— or, more specifically, Transport Scotland. The EV charging points are spread across Scotland to make it easy for newly converted and long-term EV drivers to charge their EV batteries while commuting, travelling, or running errands.

One of its core focuses is promoting easily accessible EV charging points for Scottish EV drivers to support Scotland’s electrification of transport. The network is funded mainly through grants mainly from local authorities and other local organisations.

The chargers themselves are managed by SWARCO Smart Charging.

Are ChargePlace Scotland chargers free?

Good news – the majority of Charge Place Scotland charging points are still free in 2024. But while most are free, some unfortunately are still subject to a fee – usually when charging overnight.

 

Learn more about where to find free EV charging.

How much are ChargePlace Scotland charging points?

As stated before, many CPS chargers, when used for shorter periods of time, are free. And even when a fee is required, it’s typically just a nominal charge for the RFID card at £12 to use the free charging, or a small fee of £1-£1.50 per kWh, ensuring that accessing the network remains convenient and cost-effective.

That said, overnight charging is a different matter. The cost of the CPS charging point depends on the charger owner as to how much you pay for overnight EV charging. For example, a £30.00 fee is applied for overnight charging a the HPMC Limited (Crownse Plaza), but overnight charging is is free at Aberdeen City Council.

After analysing the data, slow ChargePlace Scotland chargers tend to offer no overnight stay fees, whereas rapid and fast tend to be subject to a free, too.

Overall, free – or heavily discounted – EV charging is common for the ChargePlace Scotland charging stations, but overnight charging – or long stints of charging – will incur higher fees.

Which EV ChargePlace Scotland charging points are available?

ChargePlace Scotland has seen impressive growth since its inception, expanding from just 55 charging points to nearly 3,000 to date. In turn, this growing network now offers a range of charging rates to suit different needs, with slow, fast, and rapid chargers available.

The speeds vary depending on the operator, but you can be certain that 7kW, 22kW or even 50kW chargers are offered.

Where can I find Chargeplace Scotland charging stations?

Luckily, Chargeplace Scotland charging stations are strategically installed across Scotland. From city centres to rural, remote areas, Scottish EV owners can find nearby public EV chargers no matter their location. In fact, around 70% of available public chargers are outside of Scottish cities, providing accessible EV charging for all.

But, as the name suggests, you won’t find any ChargePlace Scotland chargers in England. On top of this, you won’t be able to use your ChargePlace Scotland app or Charge Place Scotland card (RFID card) at any other public charging network.

In truth, there have been whispers of this changing in the future, with Transport Scotland opening up the CPS charge cards at other EV charging networks.

To easily find an EV charge point in Scotland near you, view the ChargePlace Scotland map, or search Scotland on Google Maps. Otherwise, try to find charities, hotels, councils and business as many have installed CPS charging points.

How do I pay at ChargePlace Scotland?

Currently, three options are available to pay for a ChargePlace Scotland charging point. Either use the app, the ChargePlace Scotland webpay link or the CPS RFID card to manage payments.

If you value ease of use, we recommend getting a ChargePlace Scotland account and signing up for a ChargePlace Scotland card via the website. For only £12, you can purchase this access card, sometimes referred to as an RFID card, that you can use at any respective EV charger.

How to use CPS’s charging network:

Overall, ChargePlace Scotland charging points are straightforward and simple to use, similar to operating other public charging points.

  1. Locate a nearby ChargePlace charging station: Use the ChargePlace Scotland live map or website to find nearby charging points.
  2. Park your electric car in the charging bay: The bay will be clearly painted.
  3. Plug the charging cable into your electric car connector port.
  4. Start the charging session: Scan your RFID card – if you have one – to start charging. Or use ChargePlace Scotland’s mobile app and follow the instructions. If payment is required, you can also pay online and follow the instructions. The charger will beep when awake.
  5. Monitor your charging via the screen or app.
  6. Unplug the charging cable when finished: Ensure the cable is safely and neatly put back in the charging point.

Summary:

Electric vehicle charging Scotland is simple with the CPS public charging network. Use a Charge Scotland card to pay for EV charging in Scotland with CPS, pay online or through the app.

If you’re asking – ‘where can I find ChargePlace Scotland charging points near me?’, use CPS’s specific live map to find electric car charging points in Scotland.

Most of CPS’s charging points are free, but overnight stays do incur high fees.

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