Scottish councils awarded funding to help drive electric car revolution

Transport minister Michael Matheson

THE Scottish Government has committed over £20 million of funding to help support the uptake of electric vehicles.

Allocated through the Switched on Towns and Cities Challenge Fund and the Local Authority Installation Programme, the cash will be used to support ‘intensive, high impact activity’ that encourages the use of ultra-low emission vehicles.

Five local authorities have been awarded £12.1 million though the first round of the Switched on Towns and Cities Challenge Fund, which will bring a further 500 charge points to the public.

Meanwhile, the latest phase of the Local Authority Installation Programme will see 31 local authorities receive a total of £8.5 million for electric vehicle infrastructure to deliver approximately 300 charge points.

Transport minister Michael Matheson announced the funding as he broke ground on the construction of a new electric vehicle charging hub outside Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk Council has been awarded over £500,000 of support to develop the hub through the Transport Scotland Low Carbon Travel and Transport Challenge Fund – with money provided by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund.

Michael Matheson said, “Supporting the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles is integral to Scotland’s sustainable economic growth. Electric vehicles are a key component of our Climate Change Plan and our goal of making Scotland’s air quality the best in Europe. That is why we have set our ambitious target to phase out the need to purchase new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.

“Electric vehicles can bring profound benefits and by announcing over £20 million to support new electric vehicle infrastructure, further reinforcing what is already one of the most comprehensive charging networks in Europe, demonstrates the strength of our continued commitment to this agenda.

“I’m delighted to make this announcement as we mark the start of construction of Falkirk Council’s innovative Low Carbon Electric Vehicle charging hub which will comprise of 26 charging points using renewable energy provided by a solar panel canopy with support from a battery storage facility. I commend Falkirk Council’s ambition and I’m proud the Scottish Government could support their vision through our popular Low Carbon Transport and Travel Challenge Fund.”