Additional Funding Announced as Electric Vehicle Plan Progresses.
The Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf has launched the second phase of ‘Switched on Scotland’ this morning (Tuesday 13 June 2017). The plan sets out the next steps in delivering the Scottish Government’s vision to free Scotland’s towns, cities and communities from the damaging emissions of fossil-fuelled vehicles by 2050.
The Minister attended at the offices of J & E Shepherd Chartered Surveyors in Edinburgh to see how the business was benefitting by adopting electric vehicles using Transport Scotland loan funding and administered by the Energy Saving Trust.
Building on the success of the scheme, the Minister announced a further £8.2 million to support the Low Carbon Transport Loan Fund. These loans are interest free with a repayment term of up to 6 years. For the first time, loan funding will also be available for electric motorbikes and scooters and plug-in heavy goods vehicles.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said:
“I am delighted that Switched on Scotland has reached this critical second phase. Only through effective partnership working can we secure the environmental and transport vision for Scotland that we aim to realise. A greener Scotland, with improved air quality, improvements in public health and lower costs for consumers and businesses through the increased use of electric vehicles.
“It has been incredibly encouraging visiting and meeting staff here at J & E Shepherd Chartered Surveyors. They have really benefited from the Low Carbon Transport Fund and I am delighted to announce a further £8.2 million for 2017/18 to help as many businesses and individuals as possible enjoy the many benefits of electric vehicles.
“For the first time since the scheme began, electric motorbikes, scooters and plug-in heavy goods vehicles can be obtained through the fund. There has never been a better time to discover the benefits, explore the support available through the fund and make a switch to electric vehicles.”
Matthew Eastwood, Head of Transport, Scotland, Energy Saving Trust said:
“I’m delighted that Transport Scotland has increased funding for the interest free low carbon transport loan in 2017. The interest free loan is very popular with Scottish consumers and businesses and helps unlock the financial savings offered by ultra-low emission vehicles and other carbon saving transport measures.”
George Brewster, Senior Partner, J & E Shepherd, said:
“Our fleet of nearly 200 cars is a major overhead because as Chartered Surveyors we are covering in excess of 3 million miles annually. Since 2009, J & E Shepherd have developed a fleet policy in line with government guidelines and incentives which have placed a great emphasis on a green, tax and fuel efficient car pool. The latest initiatives adopt electricity and electric powered technology and by embracing these changes we estimate we will save our business approaching £200 thousand each year in fuel and running costs, not to mention employee/driver benefits.”
Switched on Scotland Phase 2: An Action Plan for Growth is available for download from the Transport Scotland website
The Action Plan sets out a range of actions that the Scottish Government will take forward with partners to decrease costs; enhance convenience; and change culture to where EVs are preferred to fossil fuelled vehicles.
For more information on electric vehicles and available funding, visit Greener Scotland. Additional information can be obtained through the Energy Saving Trust.