The Scottish Government is committing more than £30 million this financial year to accelerate the shift to zero emission transport.
This includes support for zero emission community transport and car clubs in addition to funding interest free loans for electric vehicles. It says this approach is designed to support more people and households on lower incomes to make the switch to electric.
To support a just transition to net zero, it is now prioritising funding to focus on used electric vehicles, businesses and people living in rural areas, those operating light commercial vehicles as part of their business, in addition to the taxi sector.
It says support for domestic and business charge point funding is also being prioritised to help those that need it most – focussing on those who live in rural or island areas who face higher costs and people residing in urban areas without private off-street parking. Business support will focus on smaller organisations – including those in rural or island locations which are dependent on tourism and the provision of hospitality.
It says zero emission car clubs offer communities flexible and affordable access to the latest electric vehicles without the financial commitment of car ownership. “By continuing funding for the Plugged In Communities programme, and expanding funding for zero emission community transport, more people will be able to access the benefits of zero emission transportation, while at the same time supporting the Scottish Government’s world leading car reduction and climate commitments,” the Government says in a statement.
It says that over the last ten years – Scottish Government grant funding has:
- provided over £165 million of interest free loans to support the purchase of over 6,100 vehicles.
- provided over £4.9 million to support the installation of over 16,000 home charge points across Scotland.
- Provided over £10 million to deliver 1500 charge points to businesses.
- Established 38 car club vehicles with another 16 planned, with vehicles covering over 400,000 zero emission miles across Scotland.
- This incentivisation funding is separate to the £50 million investment over the same period to establish 2,200 public charge points. A separate £47 million has also been invested to introduce 3450 vehicles into the public sector fleet.
“Whether it’s electric miles or petrol miles, we know we need to reduce car kilometres by 20% across the board to meet our climate targets,” said Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth. “Coupled with continued support for zero emission car clubs, I’m pleased we’re expanding support for community transport schemes. This will help eliminate the need for individual car ownership and ensure it’s not just the wealthiest in society who can benefit from modern EVs.
“Over the past decade, sales of electric vehicles have grown in Scotland in line with our investment and incentivisation for early adopters. With zero emission vehicles becoming more common than at any other point, our support needs to evolve in order to help those that need it most. In doing so, we’re aligning our funding streams to support a just transition to net zero, whilst delivering on our commitment to reduce overall car kilometres travelled by 20% by 2030.
“Our funding package of over £30 million for zero emission grants and loans will be refocussed to support the many people and businesses, particularly in rural areas, who still require access to vehicles. By providing interest free loans for used electric cars and for new light commercial vehicles and taxis, we continue to support our ambition to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.”
Neil Leckie, Senior Programme Manager at Energy Saving Trust added, “The Low Carbon Transport Loans have been instrumental in providing much needed support for drivers in Scotland to lower both their carbon impact and fuel costs. We are motivated by the progress made over the past ten years, having worked closely with Transport Scotland to deliver more than £165 million in interest free loans to support the purchase of over 6,100 electric vehicles. In the year ahead, we look forward to continuing to create lasting change, including making used electric vehicles accessible to a wider audience by reducing upfront costs – supporting a just transition to net zero.”
(Picture – Transport Scotland)