When, almost exactly a year ago, Newton Property Management launched our 2020 Green Vision campaign we were careful to make sure that our directors’ enthusiasm for our project was shared as widely as possible with our staff.

Part of the positive ricochet of the 2020 Green Vision campaign has been the number of our managerial staff who have been swapping out their old diesel company cars for plug-in hybrids or fully electric cars. The advance order list for our company fleet is starting to look more like the cars from some Hollywood sci-fi movie; more I, Robot now than Mad Max.

Who wouldn’t want to save 90% on company car tax? It’s just such a shame therefore that some of this new-found enthusiasm has been eroded by the selfish antics of some gas guzzling drivers out there and a lack of joined up thinking from the authorities.

The Herald: All charge points at one local authority car park were occupied by non-electric vehiclesAll charge points at one local authority car park were occupied by non-electric vehicles

When one of our managers came in to show me photos of the local council car park (where the bulk of our own staff park) you could almost hear the enthusiasm leaving her, like a deflating balloon.

Using her handy Charge Place Scotland mobile app, the manager spotted that all eight EV charging points in the local authority car park were free – allegedly – and guess what happened when she got there? Yes, every single space was occupied by a non EV car! We asked the council about what they can do about this situation.

The Herald:

They apologised and said that they couldn’t do much more than send the offending drivers a letter. A letter? League tables published by the UK government show that Scotland has the second highest ratio of charging points for drivers of electric vehicles in the UK. The Scottish government has invested heavily in a free to use charging infrastructure to encourage electric vehicle uptake, but none of this will be worth toffee if drivers can’t access spaces because of some irresponsible so and so. So, unless drivers have confidence that there will be a car park space free when the app tells them, it’s just going to demolish confidence and put people off investing in an electric vehicle.

Pub politics will be at play and one’s first instinct will be “what’s the point”? Some joined up thinking is urgently required.

A good start would be thinking about giving local authorities having the teeth to fine drivers of non electric cars who hog EV spaces.

Derek MacDonald is joint managing director of Newton Property Management.

For more information on Newton Property Management's  2020 vision please visit our site at www.newtonproperty.co.uk