The £14 million ’Switched On Scotland’ plan was officially announced earlier this month, but it actually includes some programs that have been in place for awhile. For example, it includes the UK government’s £5,000 plug-in car grant as well as ChargePlace Scotland, a program that provides a network of recharging points across the country.
The “Switched on Scotland” plan was developed by leaders in industry, academia, and government. “Discounted ferry fares for electric vehicles on all routes to Mull and Bute are also being introduced as part of a pilot scheme as a further incentive for people to purchase EVs,” the Transport Scotland press release notes. “Electric vehicles owners will be able to take advantage of a 50% discount on single car tickets.”
Transport Minister Keith Brown said:
“I am delighted to be launching Switched on Scotland which is the result of a strong partnership approach. The Roadmap has been shaped by extensive consultation through our E-cosse partnership and by expert input from our EV Strategic Board.
“This transformation is absolutely vital to achieve our ambitious climate change targets. It will also help improve local air quality with a resultant improvement in public health and wellbeing and contribute toward further energising Scotland’s economy through opportunities for our flourishing green technology industries and our renewable energy sector.”
Gordon McGregor, co-chair of the EV Strategic Board and energy and environment director, Scottish Power added: “I am delighted to be supporting the launch of ’Switched On Scotland’ today. It offers the potential to move away from our dependence on fossil fuels for transport. The actions it contains can help deliver Scotland’s targets on energy & climate change, make our towns and cities less polluted and offer support to industry through economic development and R&D in support of clean technology markets.”
In addition to the financial and infrastructure support, the program also includes “soft” support. For example, the Scottish government offers expert advice for potential EV owners and will even connect them with existing EV owners and help them to experience EVs first-hand at their local dealerships: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland/Travel/Electric-Vehicle-Network.
As a part of that initial education, the press release notes: “Electric vehicle owners currently pay no road tax and are cheaper to run at 2/3p a mile to power an electric car compared to 16p a mile for the average fossil-fuelled family car. Scottish households that buy an electric vehicle have the added bonus of a 100% grant for a home charging point.”
To read the full “Switched on Scotland” plan can be viewed here: http://www.greenerscotland.org/greener-travel/electric-vehicles/electric-vehicles-scotland