The Scottish Government has vowed to phase out the use of petrol and diesel cars and vans from public-sector fleets by 2025.
Announced as part of the Programme for Government 2019-20, which is published every year at the beginning of September and sets out the actions it will take in the coming year and beyond, the Scottish Government said at present around 1,250 ultra-low emission vehicles “will soon be in use across Scotland’s local authorities and public sector organisations.”
As part of its plan to decarbonise public-sector fleets, the Scottish Government said it will “ensure that the public sector considers whether a vehicle genuinely needs to be replaced like-for-like or whether it could consolidate its fleet, move to a shared vehicle service or switch to active travel”, while it added the Switched on Fleets programme – which offers zero-percent loans of up to £120,000 to fleets in order to help them make the switch to electric power – will continue to run.
It claimed the rate of ULEV uptake generally has outpaced the rest of the UK every quarter since 2017 and added it would provide an extra £17 million to help support businesses, consumers and grey fleet drivers make the switch, adding that used vehicles will be included for the first time “so as many people as possible can experience the benefits of electric vehicles.”
Meanwhile, the Scottish Government added it has formed a new Strategic Partnership with electricity network companies “to improve the delivery and integration of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and electricity networks in Scotland.”
This will involve trial projects with network companies” to improve knowledge and demonstrate the critical role they will play in accelerating universal access to key public infrastructure at the lowest overall cost to consumers”, it said, adding this will include a £7.5 million joint demonstration project to trial new ways to deliver and invest in electric vehicle charging at scale in order to support a previously-announced commitment to create 20 electric towns and cities by 2025.
“We will intensify our engagement with industry and key stakeholders to consider and develop new financing and delivery models for electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Scotland,” the document added. “We will also continue to support the ongoing development of charging infrastructure, and will provide in excess of £20 million to support investment by local authorities, homes and business.”
Finally, the whitepaper said the Government would consult on an ambition “to make the transformative shift to zero or ultra-low emission city centres by 2030 by engaging extensively with key sectors” this year.