THE number of grants handed out to install charging devices for electric cars in East Renfrewshire has almost quadrupled since a government funding initiative was launched.

Last year, a total of 127 vehicle owners took advantage of the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) in the local authority area, compared to just 32 in the year after it began in 2014, according to figures from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles.

The EVHS provides 75% of the cost of installing electric vehicle charging devices at domestic properties, with £51,200 of funding handed out last year in the area and £186,200 to date as of April.

This has allowed 377 devices to be put in place – the ninth highest total amongst the 32 local authorities in Scotland.

However, only one device was installed in East Renfrewshire this year up until April and the area’s total is still some way off the number in Edinburgh, which is top of Scotland’s ‘green vehicle league table’ with 1,001 devices.

Differences in how rural a local authority is, levels of car ownership, whether properties are rented, how many people live in an area, attitudes and how much the scheme has been publicised can, however, affect rates in different places.

Greg Wilson, of electric car insurance comparison site Quotezone, told the Barrhead News: “Scottish electric vehicle showrooms and car owners might be disappointed with the latest figures but we have to note local factors such as the region’s rural character, the proportion of tenancy properties and access to off-street parking, which could all affect the practicalities of going green.”