Scotland: £17m in charging points for Electric Vehicles

Scotland Article - September 3 2018.jpg

Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister has announced a new budget of £16.7m aimed at creating 1,500 electric charging points and upwards of 100 green, low-carbon buses. 

The new funding is added to another £4.8m aimed at purchasing 500 ultra low emission vehicles for the public sector, as well as £20m that has been budgeted to help transition to electric vehicles.

The fresh funding towards charging points constitutes an expansion of Transport for Scotland's programme "Switched on Towns and Cities". The project aims to facilitate a step increase in the uptake of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) in Scotland’s towns and cities - it is expected to create 20 new electric towns by 2025.

Additionally, First Minister Sturgeon has pledged to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles by 2032 - England has promised to do the same by 2040, although there have been calls for England to move this forward to 2030. 

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.
— Nicola Sturgeon - First Minister of Scotland (Source: Insider UK)

Nicola Sturgeon revealed the expansion of the Switched On initiative at a visit to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) today. Part of the electric fleet used by the public sector belongs to the SFRS - the Fire and Rescue Service plans to add a further 100 ultra-low emission vehicles to its fleet, in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint further. 

Environmental charities, such as WWF and Friends of the Earth Scotland have happily welcomed the additional funding; Emilia Hanna of Friends of the Earth also pointed out how even more needs to be done in order to fix the broken transport of Scotland. 

Photo Credit: Ninian Reid / Flickr