The Orkney Islands are leading the way in electric car purchases, with more green vehicles per head than anywhere in the north and north-east, according to official figures.
With more than 2% of the population on the island owning an electric car, it beats other areas such as Aberdeenshire with only 0.5% of the population owning one.
It’s also streets ahead of Moray where only 0.2% of the population use the vehicles.
Aberdeenshire has bought more than 1,191 electric cars in the last three years, while the Western Isles has purchased fewer with only 60 on the islands.
Argyll and Bute, and Moray – who have recently seen an increase in charging points – have seen the highest uptake over the last two year with 118% more electric vehicle sale.
Highland has 621 electric cars, a rise of 108% over the past two years, while Shetland has 109, an increase of 84%.
Aberdeen City has 913 electric cars an increase of 71%, it only has 28 charging points recorded on www.zap-map.com.
Orcadians point to the work of one man who moved to the islands after the interest in the cars expressed at a community meeting .
Jonathan Porterfield, the owner of Eco Cars, told the P&J: “I am the reason there are so many electric cars on Orkney.
“I came here for a week’s holiday in 2013. As part of a scheme at the time called My Electric Avenue I ended up talking about electric cars at a council meeting.
“People wanted to know more, so I held a meeting and people quizzed me.
“I then decided to being an electric car up to the island, a Nissan Leaf and 66 people did a test drive in the vehicle and I sold it, before my wife and I went back to Leicester.
“That winter, my wife and I decided we would move to Orkney and set up the business. Since then we have sold or leased more than 200 cars on the island.
“Our first customers are now coming back to us to buy a second vehicle, and many of our customers have their own wind turbine to power their cars.”
Mr Porterfield says he has made 44 journeys in his electric vehicle to Leicester and has never had a problem with charging points.
The first of more than 1,000 new charging points on the A9 is now open for business.
As part of the Electric A9 project, vehicle charge points were installed at Skiach Services in Ross-shire.
The project will provide Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points for both long distance and local charging on Scotland’s longest road between Falkirk and Scrabster.
Ellie Grebenik, at the Energy Saving Trust said: “As the adoption of electric vehicles is becoming increasingly popular across both private and business use, having convenient charging infrastructure is key.
“The Electric A9 project further strengthens the national network of charge points that are vital in supporting the growing number of EV drivers in Scotland enjoying substantial fuel cost savings.”
Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, said: “It is fantastic to see businesses take advantage of available support to install EV charge points.
“In addition to providing grant funding for businesses, we have more than doubled the Low Carbon Transport Loan for 2018/19, in order to satisfy demand and allow more businesses and individuals to make the switch to EVs than ever before.
“The Electric A9 signals to the world that Scotland is ready to charge ahead with EVs. We’ve made a bold commitment to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032 – and having the right infrastructure in the right place will help us secure that ambition.”