The announcement comes ahead of Nicola Sturgeon’s unveiling of her new programme for government at Holyrood today. This commitment to supporting green transport is part of the Scottish Government’s plan to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032.
Access to charging points is one of the biggest hurdles in encouraging the public to embrace EVs, which is why £15 million has been earmarked for establishing new charging points in homes, businesses and public spaces. By increasing access to charging points, the government hopes to make electric vehicles (EVs) a more viable alternative. A further £1.7m will be used to provide more than 100 low carbon buses.
Promoting the adoption of EVs is part of the Switched on Towns and Cities initiative, which aims to help create 20 new electric towns by 2025. The new funding comes on top of £20m to help people make the transition to EVs and a £4.8m grant for 500 new ultra-low emission vehicles for the public sector fleet.
Sturgeon Wants Scotland to Become a Leader in Green Transport
Sturgeon said: “Electrifying the road network and transforming the way we travel is vital to reducing our carbon emission, tackling climate change and improving air quality. Last year’s programme for government set out our ambition as a country and some key steps including making the A9 Scotland’s first electric trunk road.
“This year we want to go further still, and through the package of support we’re announcing in this year’s programme for government, as well as our continued investment of £1 billion a year in low carbon and public transport, more people will be able to play their part in putting Scotland at the forefront of low carbon travel.”
Bioenergy Campaigner Emilia Hanna welcomed the funding, commenting: “The promise of new electric charging points is great news for people thinking about buying an electric car, and will help reduce Scotland’s transport emissions. Electric vehicles are fast becoming the obvious choice for those times when people really need to use a car. However, we need fewer, not just newer vehicles. As well as installing charging points, the Scottish Government must improve its thinking around transport.”
Dr Sam Gardner, Acting Director at WWF Scotland, said: “With transport the single biggest contributor to climate change in Scotland, the Scottish Government’s decision last year to phase out new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032 was the right move for the planet. We therefore welcome the investment announced today to help make the transition away from fossil fuel vehicles easier for individuals and businesses.”