The Scottish Government has confirmed funding of £20.6 million to support the uptake of electric vehicles through the Switched on Towns and Cities Challenge Fund and the Local Authority Installation Programme.
Supporting intensive, high impact activity that incentivises, encourages and promotes the use of ultra-low emission electric vehicles – five local authorities have been awarded £12.1 million in support through the first round of the Switched on Towns and Cities Challenge Fund which will bring a further 500 charge points to the public.
In addition, the latest phase of the Local Authority Installation Programme will see 31 local authorities receive a total of £8.5 million in funding throughout the financial year for electric vehicle infrastructure to deliver approximately 300 charge points. The programme aims to fill gaps in existing infrastructure provision in order to promote range confidence for electric vehicle drivers across Scotland.
The Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity 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 half a million pounds 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.
Cabinet Secretary 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 Travel and Transport Challenge Fund.”
Leader of Falkirk Council, Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn said: “The new hub will ensure that residents and visitors alike will have 24/7 access to charging points at a central location. It’s something we want to see expanded and we know will make a difference to our environment.”
John Bynorth at Environmental Protection Scotland said: “Clean Air Day which took place on 20 June showcased the array of vehicles and the infrastructure improvements driving Scotland’s electric vehicle revolution.
“People are more aware of the environmental benefits of electric vehicle ownership and the costs of buying the vehicles are coming down. We welcome today’s funding announcement which will help make range anxiety for electric vehicle drivers a thing of the past and further accelerate ownership of electric vehicles.”