Dundee celebrated the city’s growing shift to electric vehicles (EVs) this week with a V&A Museum event which brought together advocates of the technology.
The Fully Charged show, hosted by former Red Dwarf actor Robert Llewellyn, invited guests to a talk show-style format to discuss Dundee’s journey to electrifying its transport system.
The city currently has more than 750 vehicles registered for free parking, 60 charging points, 112 EV taxis and 102 council registered EVs.
Justin Meyer of charging firm Swarco, Dee West of Charge Net NZ, David Beeton from Urban Foresight and Elinor Chalmers of EVA Scotland spoke to Mr Llewellyn about the transformation of Dundee.
Mr Beeton said: “We came up with the idea of having a showcase city for electric vehicles and to make Dundee that global city.”
The east coast city now rivals Oxford in the UK for its commitment to the technology, in part thanks to councils working hand in hand with each other and with firms such as Swarco.
Mr Meyer said: “We visited 27 councils and 50% of them were not interested.
“I realised that there was a real opportunity in Dundee so I spent time engaging with those who do something here and we’ve made it happen.”
Ms West agreed, describing Dundee as a “really punchy city for its size” in terms of what authorities are willing to do to move Scotland’s fourth largest city to electrification.
Ms Chalmers, a board member of EVA Scotland and who claims to be one of the country’s first EV owners, was given credit by Mr Llewellyn for pushing the agenda in Dundee and for encouraging the Fully Charged show to come to the city.
She and Ms West spoke about “owning” the ethical argument on electric vehicles and about how owners shouldn’t away from speaking about the economic benefits of the technology.
Ms Chalmers said: “I’ve had EVs for many many years and even after five years with my current car all I’ve had to replace in it was a ball bearing.
“If you think about a petrol or diesel car, how many repairs will that need in ten years?
“We don’t talk enough about how inexpensive they are to run.”
Ms West agreed, adding: “There’s a really ethical thing that drives this issue.
“If we don’t have that conversation now, it seems like something we might look back on and regret in the future.”