New fund launched to boost electric cars in Scotland

The Energy Saving Trust has launched a £2.5 million fund to provide interest-free loans for Scottish motorists who want to buy an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle.

The Electric Vehicle Loan is open to anyone looking to buy a new electric or plug-in hybrid car or van, and is offered in addition to the UK Government’s Plug-in Vehicle Grant.

The loan can cover 100 per cent of the purchase price and can be repaid over a period of up to six years.

“Encouraging mass changeover to electric vehicles, from more polluting ones running on petrol or diesel, is a key to cleaner road transport in Scotland and a fundamental factor in achieving our ambitious climate change targets while also improving local air quality,” said Scottish Transport Minister Derek Mackay.

“Electric vehicles already offer large savings to drivers through reduced fuel and taxation costs and this fund will further encourage new buyers by addressing the current cost premium often cited as a barrier to making the switch.  I am pleased we are adding this incentive to the growing package of support measures for EVs outlined in the ‘Switched on Scotland’ policy roadmap.”

Harry Mayers, Head of New Services at the Energy Saving Trust, said: “We’re seeing an increasing amount of interest in electric cars as the technology develops and the charging infrastructure continues to grow across Scotland.  This loan fund from Transport Scotland will help people to turn that interest into action and benefit from the long-term cost savings that electric cars offer. 

“Electric cars cost around 3p per mile to run, compared with around 15p per mile for the average petrol car, and incur no road tax. They also help to reduce local air and noise pollution, contributing towards a greener, healthier Scotland.”

For more information on how to apply for the loan visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/EVloan.

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues