The Scottish Government has announced it is providing over £30 million this financial year to accelerate the shift to zero emission transport. This includes support for zero emission community transport and car clubs, as well as funding interest-free loans for electric vehicles (EV). The move 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, funding is now being prioritised to focus on used electric vehicles, businesses and people living in rural areas, those operating light commercial vehicles as part of their business, and the taxi sector.
Support for domestic and business charge point funding is also evolving 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.
“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,” said Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth.
“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.”
Zero emission car clubs offer communities flexible and affordable access to the latest electric models 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.
Alongside other areas, funding is now being prioritised to focus on used electric vehicles.
“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,” said Neil Leckie, Senior Programme Manager at Energy Saving Trust.
“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.”
According to Transport Scotland, 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, as well as £4.9 million to support the installation of over 16,000 home charge points across Scotland. Other benefits from the funding include establishing 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 3,450 vehicles into the public sector fleet.