Green fund powers up to boost electric vehicle schemes by £10m

Green energy projects across Scotland – including a £2 million electric bus scheme in Kilmarnock ­– have been awarded a share of a £10 million fund, in a bid to accelerate Scotland’s shift to electric transport and heating.

SP Energy Networks is powering up Scotland's green economy with a £10million funding boost for 21 innovative projects across the country.
SP Energy Networks is powering up Scotland's green economy with a £10million funding boost for 21 innovative projects across the country.

A total of 21 innovative schemes have been awarded the money by SP Energy Networks from its Green Economy Fund to help meet government net zero emission targets.

The biggest award of £2 m will go to Stagecoach’s Western Buses Limited to introduce a fleet of zero emission single decker buses to operate between Kilmarnock and Priestland in Ayrshire. Glasgow City Council will also receive £420,000 to invest in two electric buses for the provision of social transport while Dumfries and Galloway Council has been awarded £1,150,000 to introduce two electric refuse collection vehicles to replace ageing diesel bin lorries.

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The latest boost to electric transport follows from SP Energy Network’s decision last November to award 
£1.5m to establish Glasgow’s first permanent electric bus routes, the M3 First Glasgow service.

The Fund will also give £1,250,000 to Warmworks, the organisation which delivers the Scottish Government’s national energy efficiency scheme to create a ‘virtual power plant’ in Dumfries and Galloway, by installing battery storage technology in 150 off–gas homes. E–bike schemes also received funding – almost £500,000 has been awarded to Transport for Edinburgh to provide numerous 
docking points for the Edinburgh Cycle Hire Scheme across and outwith the city centre; Forth Environment Link will expand the region’s e–bike sharing scheme with the installation over 40 new electric bikes and four charging stations in Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire thanks to an award of £483,000; and SoulRiders a cycling charity based in Pollokshields in Glasgow, will use its £140,000 to launch a fleet of e–cargo bikes, providing Scotland’s first integrated cargo bike delivery and waste service.

Chief executive Rashid Khaliq said: “At SoulRiders, our aim has always been to create stronger communities through cycling. Thanks to funding from the Green Economy Fund, we are now able to launch our new e–cargo bike service.

“We believe our project will reduce the number of vans and lorries on our streets and provides a solution to many issues including traffic and pollution in cities.”

The Green Economy Fund, which stands at £20m and will run for two years, aims to support the Scottish Government’s targets around local economic growth, improving air quality and delivering a low–carbon future.

The funding announcement was made today at The Great Polish Map of Scotland in Peebles by Olympic cyclist, Callum Skinner, who switched his track bike for an e–bike. Frank Mitchell, chief executive of SPEN, said: “Scotland has always been a nation of innovators and today we are recognising 21 incredibly innovative projects.

“We believe in supporting our communities by investing directly in projects 
that deliver low carbon solutions and also create the economic benefits locally that can come from driving to zero carbon.”