Originally published on Gas2.
By Marc Howe
The Scottish government has unveiled a new financing scheme in the hope of expediting the uptake of electric cars by consumers and private companies and cut down on vehicle-related emissions.
Under the “Switched on Scotland” scheme, interest-free loans of up to £100,000 will be provided to private companies and £50,000 to individuals for the purchase of electric cars.
The payback period for the loans will be as long as six years, providing vehicle buyers with sufficient time to perform repayments using money saved by means of reduced fuel consumption.
According to Derek Mackay, Scottish transport minister, switching to electric vehicles will play a critical role in enabling Scotland to satisfy its commitment to climate change targets.
“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,” Mackay said in a statement.
“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.”
The new scheme complements other initiatives launched by the Scottish and UK governments to advance electric vehicle usage, and can be used in tandem with them simultaneously.
These include the plug-in vehicle grants provided by Westminster, which are available for up to £5,000 off the cost of an electric car and £8,000 off the cost of an electric van, and the Scottish government’s ChargePlace Scotland scheme, which provides grants for the installation of vehicle charging points at private residences.