2 Vision

2 Vision

2.1 Roadmap Vision

The following vision statement establishes the ultimate objective for the Roadmap. It builds on the Scottish Government's existing commitment to achieve almost complete decarbonisation of road transport by 2050, and emphasises that all relevant public and private stakeholders can play an active role in facilitating this transition.

By 2050, Scottish towns, cities and communities will be free from the damaging emissions of petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles. A significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will be accompanied by marked improvements in local air quality, noise pollution and public health. Scotland will also enjoy increased energy security and new economic opportunities through leadership in sustainable transport and energy technologies.

A key ambition is that by 2040 almost all new car sales will be near zero emission at the tailpipe and that by 2030 half of all fossil-fuelled vehicles will be phased-out of urban environments across Scotland. Plug-in vehicles running on Scotland's abundant green electricity will make a substantial contribution to this. Electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will be widely used as part of a sustainable transport system and will support progress towards a cleaner and smarter energy grid.

Actions taken in the early market up to 2020 will see increasing adoption of plug-in vehicles and establish foundations for long-term growth. This will be delivered through the commitments of all relevant public and private stakeholders and driven by increased awareness and confidence in the technology. Change will be made actionable through promotion of the opportunities and incentives for adopting plug-in vehicles, as well as developments in the necessary skills and business models.

Progress will be further supported by having a network of recharging infrastructure in place across Scotland by 2015, which will develop to meet the needs of the market.

2.2 Outlook

As a developing market, progress towards this vision will come in three phases. As shown in Figure 4, this will see provisions made to support the Launch, Growth and Take-off of markets for plug-in vehicles. This requires that different strategies, support and actions are deployed over time to respond to the changing requirements of the market and to sustain adoption and use of plug-in vehicles.

Figure 4: Three phases of market penetration of plug-in vehicles

Figure 4: Three phases of market penetration of plug-in vehicles


Figure 5 outlines a market growth scenario which would achieve the Roadmap vision, and the associated vision contained in Low Carbon Scotland: Meeting the Emissions Reduction Targets 2013-2027: The Second Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP2)4, namely almost complete decarbonisation of road transport by 2050. Under this scenario, fossil-fuels will gradually be phased-out over time, with all new car sales being near zero carbon at the tailpipe from 2040.

Figure 5: Outlook for new car sales in Scotland5

Figure 5: Outlook for new car sales in Scotland


The scenario also shows that a mix of low emission propulsion technologies will contribute, for example hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. This reflects the Scottish Government's technology neutral position on low emission vehicle solutions. However, plug-in vehicles are seen as the technology capable of making the most immediate impact in helping to achieve the key policy driver of Scotland's 2020 emissions reductions targets and are expected to be the majority technology for light duty vehicles in the lead up to 2050.

In the shorter term, the precise rate of growth in the use of plug-in vehicles will be influenced by a range of different factors, significantly the relative price of the vehicles and the rate at which they are brought to market. By way of reference, and as included in RPP2, the UK Committee on Climate Change suggested in 20106 that 16 per cent of new car sales by 2020 would need to be plug-in vehicles in order to provide critical mass for subsequent roll-out.

The scenario outlined in Figure 5 would also see Scotland achieve the vision set by the European Commission in its 2011 Transport White Paper7, which establishes a timeline of objectives to:

  • Halve the use of 'conventionally-fuelled' cars in urban transport by 2030;
  • Phase them out in cities by 2050;
  • Achieve essentially CO2-free city logistics in major urban centres by 2030.

Car - Source: Nissan