The Scottish Government 'sets out a bold vision to replace petrol and diesel vehicles with electric vehicles'

The Scottish Government ‘sets out a bold vision to replace petrol and diesel vehicles with electric vehicles’

A plan to push the uptake of electric cars in Scotland has been published, with the aim of omitting vehicle emissions caused by petrol and diesel fuels by 2050. The Scottish Government’s ‘Switched On Scotland: A Roadmap to Widespread Adoption of Plug-in Vehicles’, combined with investment of over £14million, includes free charging kit installations for electric car drivers, discounted ferry fares for electric vehicles, and installing charge points at all of the Scottish Government’s main buildings.

12 September 2013 – A plan to free Scottish towns, cities and communities from petrol and diesel fuelled vehicle emissions by 2050, has been published.

‘Switched On Scotland: A Roadmap to Widespread Adoption of Plug-in Vehicles’, produced by the Scottish Government in partnership with experts from industry, academia and environmental bodies, sets out the plan to drive forward the uptake of electric vehicles in Scotland.

The Roadmap contains a range of commitments by the Scottish Government, backed by over £14million of investment over the next two years – including installing charge points at all of its main buildings and replacing petrol and diesel vehicles in its fleet with electric alternatives.

Electric vehicle owners will also continue to benefit from free installations of charging kits in their home as well as at workplaces and on Scotland’s roads. Additional grants to help with purchase costs of electric car and vans are also available.

Discounted ferry fares for electric vehicles on all routes to Mull and Bute are also being introduced as part of a pilot scheme as a further incentive for people to purchase EVs. Electric vehicles owners will be able to take advantage of a 50 per cent discount on single car tickets.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “I am delighted to be launching Switched on Scotland which is the result of a strong partnership approach. The Roadmap has been shaped by extensive consultation through our E-cosse partnership and by expert input from our EV Strategic Board.

“It sets out a bold vision to replace petrol and diesel vehicles with electric vehicles by 2050 and requires a transformation in how we think about moving people and goods around.

“This transformation is absolutely vital to achieve our ambitious climate change targets. It will also help improve local air quality with a resultant improvement in public health and wellbeing and contribute toward further energising Scotland’s economy through opportunities for our flourishing green technology industries and our renewable energy sector.

“In addition, I am also pleased to announce the introduction of a discounted ferry fares scheme for electric vehicles on all routes to Mull and Bute on a pilot basis. Electric vehicle drivers will be eligible for a 50 per cent discount on single car tickets to and from these islands.”

The Scottish Government will continue to engage with the wide network of partners that have helped to develop the Roadmap, in a bid to create new and exciting opportunities to get electric vehicles into Scottish fleets, install charging points and seek new opportunities for Scottish businesses.

Gordon McGregor, co-chair of the EV Strategic Board and energy and environment director, Scottish Power said: “I am delighted to be supporting the launch of ‘Switched On Scotland’ today. It offers the potential to move away from our dependence on fossil fuels for transport. The actions it contains can help deliver Scotland’s targets on energy and climate change, make our towns and cities less polluted and offer support to industry through economic development and R&D in support of clean technology markets.”

Fellow EV Strategic Board member, electric vehicle owner and chair of the Electric Vehicle Association Scotland Adrian Loening, said: “There are several benefits to driving an electric car both for the environment, your finances and your wellbeing.

“These include fewer harmful emissions, lower running costs and reduced road noise compared to the average family car. Hundreds of charge points are being installed all over Scotland and there are a number of grants and incentives to introduce people to driving electric vehicles. There’s never been a better time for individuals or business in Scotland to own an electric vehicle.”

Electric vehicle owners currently pay no road tax and are cheaper to run at 2/3p a mile to power an electric car compared to 16p a mile for the average fossil-fuelled family car. Scottish households that buy an electric vehicle have the added bonus of a 100 per cent grant for a home charging point.

The Scottish Government will also develop new ways to support motorists to adopt electric vehicles by providing expert advice on their environmental and financial benefits. This will be supported by a new electric vehicle network tool, recently launched by the Energy Saving Trust Scotland and funded by Transport Scotland – providing individuals and organisations the opportunity to speak to current electric vehicle owners, and experience them first hand at their local dealerships.

For further information, please visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland/Travel/Electric-Vehicle-Network or read the Electric Vehicles Roadmap.