The ‘Switched On Fleets’ initiative provides a major funding boost and is aimed at driving forward public sector fleets’ green credentials by increasing the number of electric vehicles on the road.
The Scottish Government ambitious climate change targets include phasing out all petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles by 2050, and has already seen the introduction of over 200 electric vehicles across Scottish Local Authorities. This latest round of funding shows the Scottish Government’s continued commitment to fulfil its ‘Switched On Scotland: A Roadmap to Widespread Adoption of Plug-in Vehicles’ manifesto by decreasing the number of fossil-fuelled vehicles within Scotland’s public sector fleets.
Making the announcement, 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 Roadmap, which contains a range of commitments by the Scottish Government, has already seen over £17 million of investment since its launch in 2013 – including the installation of over 600 publicly available charge points across Scotland and a further 200 in non-public locations such as council depots, workplaces and people’s homes.
Recent figures released by intelligentcarleasing.com, which compared all 433 local authorities in the UK, showed that Scotland is leading the rest of Britain in electric vehicle take up, with four Scottish councils in the top five using the greener alternative.
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 on 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.”
Ian Murdoch, Energy Saving Trust, said:
“With the growing network of public chargers in Scotland, it’s now a really practical and cost-effective option to run an electric vehicle. Fuel costs for electric cars are approximately a fifth of the fuel costs for a petrol or diesel car – and they have the added bonus of producing no harmful exhaust emissions and significantly improving local air quality.
Most major manufacturers including Nissan, Renault, Volkswagen and BMW offer at least one electric option with the majority providing a typical range of up to 100 miles. There are also a number of plug-in hybrid models that offer extended range through an auxiliary petrol or diesel engine. Energy Saving Trust, funded by Transport Scotland, can provide free, impartial advice for businesses and consumers on which electric vehicle might suit your needs best.”
With grants of up to £5,000 available towards the purchase cost of an electric car, £8,000 available for the purchase of an electric van and Scotland’s charging point infrastructure continuing to expand – electric vehicles are becoming more mainstream and affordable.
Electric vehicle owners currently pay no road tax and are cheaper to run at 2p to 3p a mile to power an electric car compared to 16p a mile for the average fossil-fuelled family car. Scottish households that buy an electric vehicle have the added bonus of a 100 percent grant for a home charging point.