Alternative Vehicles

September 2023

Charging point proposals for the Black Isle

Two planning applications have recently been submitted for developments of or including electric vehicle charging points.

The larger development at North Kessock is proposed for a site between the A9 and the roundabout, and includes retail and fast food provision as well as vehicle charging points.  We posted a full report in a News item in July.  The application reference is  23/03666/FUL.

The other proposal is for a site next to Tore Service Station and is for three charging units apparently able to charge six cars.  the application reference is  23/04466/FUL .  To view the application and related documents go to Highland Council's ePlanning website at  and enter the reference in the search box.

Ferintosh Community Council is currently discussing whether the charging point(s) would be compatible with the 'Wee bus'.  It seems there is a considerable variety of electric vehicle charging connectors, differing mainly according to the speed of charging.  The RAC offers an explanation of the different types.


June 2023

Are electric cars the right answer?

I love electric vehicles – and was an early adopter. But increasingly I feel duped

Rowan Atkinson        The Guardian 3 June

Sadly, keeping your old petrol car may be better than buying an EV. There are sound environmental reasons not to jump just yet.

Read the article


October 2022

Battery Technology Breakthrough

10-Minute Charge Time Paves Way for Mass Adoption of Affordable Electric Car  -  SciTechDaily, Penn State University

A design breakthrough has enabled a 10-minute charge time for a typical electric vehicle battery. A paper detailing the record-breaking combination of a shorter charge time and more energy acquired for a longer travel range was published on October 12 in the journal Nature.

“Fast charging of energy-dense lithium-ion batteries” 12 October 2022, Nature.   DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-05281-0

“The need for smaller, faster-charging batteries is greater than ever,” said Chao-Yang Wang, lead author on the study. “There are simply not enough batteries and critical raw materials, especially those produced domestically, to meet anticipated demand.” Wang is the William E. Diefenderfer Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Penn State.
.   .   .   .
Wang explained that if new car sales are going to shift to battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs), they’ll need to overcome two major drawbacks. First, they are too slow to recharge. Second, they are too large to be efficient and affordable. Instead of taking a few minutes at the gas pump, some EVs can take all day to recharge depending on the battery.

Read full article


June 2020

'Driving Scotland To An Electric Future'

Alister Hamilton, Chair of the Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) of Scotland, gave a formal Zoom presentation to TBI members on 16 June 2020 on the topic 'Driving Scotland to an Electric Future'.  Alister was no stranger having a few years ago talked to TBI personally on the demise of the oil industry using thermodynamic arguments to prove the end of oil was far sooner than most would have wished to admit.  So quite naturally for him, pure electric vehicles were the only future-proofed investment for personal travel.  He spoke from the experience of someone who had owned a secondhand Nissan Leaf for seven years.

The talk covered the schemes in place in Scotland to offset the price of buying a new EV including grants and interest-free loans, the choice of models available now or on stream, (including their efficiency and potential range between charges) battery technology, charging equipment at home, and the support through mobile phone apps for identifying in real time the location, type and possible delay in accessing fast charge points when travelling. Alister also outlined the tariff available through Octopus Energy called Ohme which in conjunction with a Smart Meter could provide (in the dead of night) electricity at 0.04p per kWh or less!..  As Chairman of EVA Scotland he also outlined the role of the Association and the benefits of membership even if an electric vehicle was only a dream.

Around an hour of discussion followed the one hour talk.  Some participants reflected on their own experiences with electric cars, and others with more limited driving requirements questioned whether EV could make any financial sense when compared with a far cheaper petrol alternative.  There was plenty for everybody in the talk and discussion.  What was abundantly clear from the evening was that the car manufacturers have very ambitious plans to expand EV production and the future would indeed seem to be electric.

For buying a second hand car, Alister recommended the Orkney-based car broker Jonathon Porterfield with website .  Alister welcomes enquiries either by e-mail or by personal call 07879 511798.

You can view Alister's PowerPoint presentation here

Thank you Anne Thomas for arranging the evening event.

Julian Paren


September 2021
AutoTrader have produced

Another guide to electric cars

"The world changes and evolves every day. And with more focus being placed on the need to conserve the environment than ever before, it’s only natural that new rules are being introduced to reduce the number of petrol and diesel cars on the road.

"With the sales of these kinds of cars prohibited beyond 2030, more consumers than ever are turning to electric cars as a viable alternative. Once the stuff of science fiction, these types of cars are now readily available through a number of suppliers.

"For the average driver, it might be hard to know where to start when it comes to buying an electric car. After all, you’ve probably spent most of your life driving a petrol or diesel option. Luckily, we’re here to help.

"This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about electric cars, including how to buy one, the charging process, how they’re likely to impact British roads in the future, and all the costs associated with an electric car you might not already know about."

Read the guide


April 2019

Guide to Electric Cars

Car dealers Hendy Group have produced a guide called “A Complete Guide To Driving Electric & Hybrid Cars in the 21st century”, which offers the following information:

  • A well-rounded introduction to electric and hybrid cars - how the technology works, commonly-used terminologies, as well as important facts and figures on CO2 emissions and the lifetime impact of traditional cars on the environment. 
  • Important milestones and key developments in electric and hybrid vehicle technology, such as how batteries for electric cars are getting cheaper and increasingly more efficient, and how car manufacturers are coming out with more electric and hybrid models each year. 
  • What's it like to own an electric or hybrid vehicle, how the government is helping make ownership of electrics and hybrids more affordable through grants, incentive schemes, and by investing in modern infrastructure such as public charging points to keep up with the demand. 
  • Other useful tips, resources, and information that can help you decide if an electric or hybrid vehicle is the right choice for you. 

Read the guide



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We are part of the rapidly expanding worldwide Transition Towns movement. The Black Isle is a peninsula of about 100 sq miles ENE of Inverness in Scotland, UK.