The Scottish Government is providing over £30 million this financial year to boost the shift to zero emission transport. Quadrant Transport investigates how this funding will support people in switching to electric vehicles.
It will include support for zero emission community transport and car clubs and interest-free funding loans for electric vehicles. The approach is designed to support more people and households on lower incomes to make the switch to electric vehicles.
Funding is now being prioritised to focus on used electric vehicles, businesses and people living in rural areas, those who are operating light commercial vehicles as part of their business, in addition to the taxi sector.
Encouraging the shift to electric vehicles is essential as it is outlined in Transport Scotland’s ‘Zero Emission Energy for Transport Report’ that it is key that new petrol and diesel cars and vans are phased out by 2030 and heavy vehicles by 2035.
Funding Is Focused On People Living In Rural Areas
Focusing on those who need it the most, such as those living in rural or island areas who face higher costs and people residing in urban areas without private off-street parking, there is support for both domestic and business charge point funding.
Business support will focus on smaller organisations, including those in rural or island locations dependent on tourism and the provision of hospitality.
Offering communities flexible and affordable access to the latest electric vehicles without the financial commitment of car ownership, zero emission car clubs will be used.
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. At the same time, this will support the Scottish Government’s car reduction and climate commitments.
Support Will Be Seen For Community Transport Schemes
Minister for Transport, Jenny Gilruth, said: “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. 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.
Over the last ten years, the Scottish Government grant funding has provided over £165 million of interest-free loans to support the purchase of over 6100 vehicles and has provided over £4.9 million to support the installation of over 16,000 home charge points across Scotland. Businesses have been provided with over £10 million to deliver 1500 charge points.
Funding has established 38 car club vehicles with another 16 planned, with vehicles covering over 400,000 zero emission miles across Scotland. The incentivisation funding is separate from 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.