Scottish Government to invest £17m in green transport technology

Nicola Sturgeon viewed a range of electric vehicles used by the emergency services while visiting the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service headquarters in Cambuslang. Picture: John Devlin
Nicola Sturgeon viewed a range of electric vehicles used by the emergency services while visiting the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service headquarters in Cambuslang. Picture: John Devlin
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Almost £17 million is to be spent on 1,500 new electric charge points for vehicles and more than 100 green buses, the First Minister has said.

Nicola Sturgeon announced the funding ahead of unveiling her new programme for government at Holyrood on Tuesday.

The First Minister set a target last year to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032.

A total of £15 million is to be spent on the new charging points in homes, businesses and public spaces to improve access across the country, and promote electric vehicles as a viable alternative.

It is part of an expansion of the Switched on Towns and Cities initiative which will help create 20 new “electric towns” by 2025.

READ MORE: Scots scientists’ battery breakthrough could revolutionise electric cars

Meanwhile a further £1.7 million will provide more than 100 low carbon buses.

The new funding comes on top of £20 million to help people make the transition to electric vehicles, and a £4.8 million grant for 500 new ultra low emission vehicles for the public sector fleet.

Ms Sturgeon made the announcement during a visit to the Cambuslang headquarters of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), which plans to introduce up to 100 ultra-low emission plug-in vehicles.

The service is also looking at how it could utilise its 356 fire stations to support the ongoing development of charging networks.

Ms Sturgeon said: “In last year’s programme for government we committed to remove the need for petrol and diesel cars and vans on Scotland’s roads by 2032.

“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.”

Environmental charities welcomed the funding.

Emilia Hanna of Friends of the Earth Scotland said: “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 of 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.”