The Scottish Government 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 in addition to funding interest free loans for electric vehicles. This approach 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, in addition to 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.
Zero emission car clubs offer communities flexible and affordable access to the latest electric vehicles 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.
Over the last ten years – Scottish Government grant funding has:
- provided over £165 million of interest free loans to support the purchase of over 6100 vehicles.
- provided over £4.9 million to support the installation of over 16,000 home charge points across Scotland.
- Provided over £10 million to deliver 1500 charge points to businesses.
- Established 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 3450 vehicles into the public sector fleet.
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.”
Neil Leckie, Senior Programme Manager at Energy Saving Trust said: “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. 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.”
Application for 2022/23 open on 8 June. Full information on grants and loans is available online: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/travel/financial-support/grants-and-loans
For more information on the Scottish Government’s Mission Zero for Transport visit www.transport.gov.scot/missionzero
Neil Swanson, director of the Electric Vehicle Association said: “EVA Scotland welcomes the announcement from Transport Scotland on the continuation of the Low Carbon Transport Loans.
This financial support from the Scottish government will maintain the momentum for zero emission transport, assisting those wishing to transition to electric vehicles.
The targeted approach of this latest funding round aims to ensure a just transition as well as ensuring that more sectors will be able to easily switch to EVs including those in more remote and rural areas of Scotland. The support for those in rural areas, those who cannot charge at home, zero emission car clubs and the hospitality sector are particularly welcomed.
While the purchase cost of new and used electric vehicles continues to be higher than their equivalent internal combustion engine models, the gap is shrinking. This financial assistance is key to ensuring all can make the change, and by including in this funding a focus on small businesses eager to provide charge points for guests, customers and employees, it can only ensure that Scotland continues to lead the way towards a zero emission transport system”
-£28m is available for the Low Carbon Transport Loan.
-£1.7m is available as infrastructure grants (including rural, SME, third sector and flatted development streams).
- £1.75m is available for Plugged In Communities and Community Transport.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), there was a 24% increase in electric car sales from 2020 to 2021, with more EVs sold in Scotland in the whole of last year than in the previous five years.
In December 2021 SMMT also published data which shows that one in every four cars sold across the UK was a BEV.
DriveElectric, a leasing company and reference point within the UK automotive and energy sectors for BEV adoption, forecast that at least 330,000 BEV’s will be registered in the UK this year alone, an increase of 80% on the number registered in 2021.
The only reason that EV car registrations are not even higher is because of new vehicle supply restrictions as a result of the shortage of micro chips used in their manufacture.
Energy Saving Trust is an independent organisation dedicated to promoting
energy efficiency, low carbon transport and sustainable energy use. We aim to
address the climate emergency and deliver the wider benefits of clean energy
as the UK transitions to net zero.
We empower householders to make better choices, deliver transformative
programmes for governments and support businesses with strategy,
research and assurance – enabling everyone to play their part in building
a sustainable future.