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Charging Point For North Lewis Web

New EV charging point for north Lewis

Published: 21/02/2024

Comunn Eachdraidh Nis has installed a new EV charging point in north Lewis to help reduce carbon emissions.

A new electric vehicle (EV) charging point has been installed in north Lewis this week as part of a community group’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Comunn Eachdraidh Nis (CEN) provides services for more than 20,000 people each year. It is home to an accredited museum featuring displays on various aspects of island life, exhibitions, a local history archive, genealogical records for the whole of the north Lewis area, a café and a gift shop.

As the first historical society to be set up in the Outer Hebrides (in 1977), it now has an established reputation for delivering innovate projects for local people and for visitors. It also serves as a Gaelic ‘hub’ within the community and the language is spoken every day by staff and people visiting the facilities.  

Over the past three years, the team at CEN noticed an increasing number of electric vehicles being used by passing visitors, with up to 20 EVs stopping by each week during the summer months.

CEN secured funding of £5,028 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to install a rapid charging EV unit with two chargers. Funding was also awarded from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Crown Estate Fund.

The support forms part of wider efforts by HIE to help make the Highlands and Islands carbon neutral and end Scotland’s need for new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.

To reduce its carbon impact further, CEN was awarded previous HIE assistance to reduce its carbon footprint in 2023. This allowed the community group to invest in mechanical heat recovery ventilation units to allow spaces to be heated from existing renewable sources. Ducting in the kitchen/café was also relocated to prevent draughts.

Currently, there is one EV charge point in Ness, which is located at SpòrsNis, 2.6 miles away. The next nearest charger is located at Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn, 5 miles away. This new charge point at CEN will be one of three on the Galson Estate, which comprises 22 villages and 2,000 people.

Joanna Peteranna, area manager for HIE in the Innse Gall area team, said:

"We’re really pleased to support CEN in their efforts to be as energy efficient as it can and investing in the latest technology. This project will support the local community of Ness and wider, providing a service that local people and visitors can use. These new EV stations to promote cleaner, more sustainable motoring in the area will also encourage local people to purchase electric vehicles, as there will be a charge point nearby.

“It also means visitors to north Lewis who have electric vehicles can be more confident about being able to access charging facilities when they come here. This will increase footfall at the centre, time spent at the building by people charging their vehicles and increase income for CEN.

Anne Macleod, Operations Manager at Comunn Eachdraidh Nis said:

“CEN is delighted to be able to provide this additional service for our community and visitors to the area.  The superfast charging point will allow two vehicles to charge simultaneously and will be available 24/7. As an organisation, we are fully committed to minimising the environmental impact of our operations.  We would like to thank Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for their support.”

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