The Scottish Government announced plans to tackle public sector vehicle emissions recently. The Minister for Transport and Islands, Derek Mackay, outlined plans to invest £2.5 million. The initiative will be known as “Switched on Fleets”. The overall aim of the program is to increase the number of electric vehicles being driven in Scotland.
More than 200 electric vehicles have already been introduced to Scottish Local Councils. The goal of the government is even more ambitious than that, however. They want to ensure that there is no petrol or diesel-fueled vehicles in their service by 2050. With just 35 years to complete this plan, the investment is timely. Starting early will be the key to achieving success.
Transport Minister Derek Mackay, said: “I am delighted to be launching this new initiative, which is providing expert analysis highlighting where electric vehicles can be most effectively introduced into fleets. We are also backing this analysis with £2.5 million of funding to enable councils and their partners to act by buying or leasing electric cars and vans.
“We are committed to freeing our towns, cities, and communities from the damaging effects of petrol and diesel-fuelled vehicles and Switched On Fleets takes us further down the road to achieving this. More electric vehicles on the roads is an important step in increasing awareness among drivers that there are viable alternatives to petrol and diesel cars.”The manifesto for change from fossil-fuelled vehicles has already seen more than £17 million of investment since 2013. Some of this money has gone towards installing public charge points across Scotland. More than six hundred of these now exist. Two hundred more have been placed in non-public locations. These include workplaces, private residences, and council buildings. Scotland is now leading the rest of the UK in the electric car take up. Four out of five councils in Scotland have switched to electric cars.Colin Ferguson, CEO of Switched On Fleets partner, Route Monkey, said: “Our evidence-based analysis for Switched-On Fleets enables Councils to make informed choices for electric vehicle deployment so that these vehicles deliver cost savings as well as environmental benefits. Working closely with the Energy Saving Trust, we can help Scotland’s public sector fleets remain at the forefront of electric vehicle adoption.”
Scottish residents can currently accept a grant of £5,000 towards the purchase of an electric car. £8,000 is available for those who wish to purchase a van. No road tax applies to electric vehicles either. Scottish buyers can also get a home charge point for free. Fuel is much cheaper, normally around 13p less per mile. This is helping electric vehicles to become more affordable. Most have a range of up to one hundred miles before recharging. Some hybrid models can go much further with an added petrol or diesel system. Many manufacturers now offer electric versions for purchase. These include Nissan, Renault, Volkswagen, BMW, and more. It is becoming easier than ever to go green in Scotland.