WITH increasing numbers of UK drivers buying and leasing electric vehicles amidst rocketing international fuel and energy prices, the Scottish government has committed to providing a greener automotive landscape for the future. Pledging a notable investment of £30 million for the current financial year, Scotland aims to speed up the transition to full zero-emission transport, but what does this mean for Scottish drivers and how will the EV investment be spent?
The Scottish commitment to green travel
In line with the wider Net Zero strategy, the Scottish government is aiming to ‘decarbonise’ its national travel network and lower emissions in the country. This strategy includes a push towards increased EV accessibility for lower-income households, with an end goal of hitting national carbon targets and establishing fully zero-emission travel in Scotland. The high-value investment of £30 million for the year has been widely discussed in the UK media, but where will the money go?
How will the money be spent?
One way in which the much-needed cash will be spent is in the funding of more zero-emission community transport and car clubs, which enable Scottish communities to share access to EVs without committing to full ownership. This has already closed the attainability gap in Scotland, with a total of 38 community club vehicles running 400,000 miles all over the country. There are a further 16 EV community car club vehicles set to hit the roads in Scotland over the coming year, with many more likely on the way owing to this latest government investment.
Perhaps the most interesting and highly-publicised area of new EV investment in Scotland is the government’s Low Carbon Transport Loan system, which pledges to offer interest-free loans of either £10000 or £28000 for new electric bikes or cars respectively. Scots could also receive interest-free loans of up to £5000 for their second-hand bike or £30,000 for their second-hand car under the new system, which will surely encourage many drivers in the country to get rid of their existing vehicles and make the switch to electric. Using Low Carbon Transport Loans (enabling the purchasing of 6100 vehicles), the Scottish government aims to eliminate the need for petrol and diesel vehicles in the country, especially in the more rural areas previously underserved by EVs or EV charging points.
More than 16,000 home charge points are set to be installed across the country, while 1500 charge points are due to be installed in private local businesses – a further 2,200 public charging points will be supported by incentivized funding. With a combination of loans and targeted investment into EV infrastructure, Scotland aims to eliminate petrol and diesel vehicle use altogether by the year 2030.