THIS year has brought challenges like no other and forced businesses to adapt to changes that nobody could have expected. It’s brought the need to rebuild our economy into sharp focus and making our economy greener should be something that’s intrinsically linked to this.

This presents us with an opportunity to make faster and more resilient progress on decarbonisation based on a green recovery that supports jobs and shifts long-term behaviours towards greener habits. Alongside COVID-19, climate change is one of the most important issues our generation faces and Scottish businesses have an opportunity to lead from the front.

One way that business leaders can do this is through helping to clean up transport by increasing the number of electric vehicles in their fleet. By doing this, they’ll play a major role in helping to meet ambitious Net Zero targets set by both the Scottish and UK governments.

At ScottishPower, we’re proud to lead the way when it comes to renewable energy and offer a whole host of safe, smart charging solutions to meet businesses’ EV needs. Businesses can make the transition smoothly thanks to bespoke solutions, tailored to their particular needs.

The design of and supply of chargers as well as installation and ongoing support are all shaped around the needs of business owners. ScottishPower is also developing a network of public charge points so that wherever they have to travel, we can keep them on the move.

With everything else going on at the moment, I completely understand that this might not be top of small business owners’ priority lists. However, for businesses that wish to explore the opportunity, the process to switch couldn’t be smoother and the major benefit for business owners is that it has such a beneficial impact on their bottom line. By installing EV charging facilities, businesses futureproof their fleet and develop green, sustainable credentials while reducing overall costs in the long run.

As well as benefitting the environment, using EV technology and having charging points on site provides essential facilities for both customers and workforce. Now is the time for businesses to take advantage of current grants and tax benefits, which reduces the initial outlay.

Having a charge point also helps differentiate businesses from their competitors. For example, EV drivers will be more likely to visit a store where they can charge their car while they shop and it might even encourage them to stay that little bit longer.

ScottishPower is also building a public EV charging network to help customers charge on the go and we’re on the lookout for potential site partners within prime locations who could potentially host one of our public charge points in return for a share of revenue. ScottishPower will install the charge point at no cost and manage all the ongoing maintenance to make this experience hassle-free for partners, so the time really is now for business owners to get in and make the switch to EVs.

As we all continue to adapt to the new ways of working caused by the virus, making the transition to EVs can make a huge difference for businesses who can reap the benefits for years to come. I’d encourage any business owner to visit to find out more about how we can support them and enhance their own green credentials.

Jamie Elliot is head of electric vehicle charging at ScottishPower.