NORTH Lanarkshire Council’s Environment and Transportation Committee has backed a project which could see up to £5 million invested into electric vehicle (EV) charging and electricity network infrastructure across Lanarkshire.

The public-use hubs will be created in car parks that are owned and operated by both North and South Lanarkshire Councils.

Preparatory work with Transport Scotland and SP Energy Networks is underway.

Locations that are being considered for the project align with areas of potential demand, taking into account existing electricity infrastructure locations and capacity, as well as land that is available for public access.

The work is part of a bid to meet the Scottish Government’s plans to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.

Councillor Michael McPake, convener of the Environment and Transportation Committee, welcomed the decision to support the project, saying: “This is an innovative, ambitious plan for Lanarkshire that will see a real increase in the electric vehicle charging infrastructure on the ChargePlace Scotland network in North Lanarkshire, by the end of this year.

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“The Scottish Government targets aim to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032, and these plans are designed to pave the way for that to become a reality.

“The new network will contribute to reducing air pollution and providing access to clean energy for our residents, and the project fits with this council’s ambition to be the place to live, learn, work, invest and visit.”

Since last year’s launch of the Scottish Government’s strategic partnership, SP Energy Networks and Transport Scotland have established Project PACE with North Lanarkshire Council and South Lanarkshire Council, as beneficiaries to trial opportunities to improve the delivery and co-ordination of investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Scott Mathieson, director of network planning and regulation at SP Energy Networks, said: “We’re delighted that North Lanarkshire will be involved in this innovative pilot project which will help Scotland drive towards its ambitious net zero carbon emissions targets.