The Scottish government has announced plans to rid its towns and cities of exhaust emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles by 2050.

The plans have been outlined in Transport Scotland’s ‘Electric Vehicle Roadmap’ and will involve a £14million investment in replacing all conventionally fuelled government fleet vehicles with zero-emissions electric alternatives, over the next two years.

Electric car charging points are also to be installed at all of its main buildings.

The roadmap document is the result of collaboration between environmental bodies, industry experts and academics and is designed to increase the uptake of battery-electric cars.

Currently, anyone who buys an electric car in Scotland receives a home charging point free of charge thanks to a government subsidy.

Buyers also receive a grant of up to £5,000 towards the cost of electric vehicles, in line with England. However, the Scottish government is likely to continue this subsidy, whereas Westminster has already announced it is to be phased out.

As part of the roadmap, Scotland hopes to phase out half of fossil-fuelled vehicles on its urban roads by 2030.

As well as paying no road tax, electric car drivers already enjoy discounted ferry fares to Mull and Bute, and further benefits are being considered.

Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown said the plans to replace petrol and diesel vehicles by 2050 were a "bold vision" that would require a "transformation in how we think about moving people and goods around," reported the BBC.

He continued: "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."

Opponents of the plans have warned that electric cars make up a tiny percentage of those on the road, and uptake would continue to be slow, particularly while purchase prices remain high.

Do you think the plans outlined by the Scottish government are workable? Should we even be focusing on battery-electric cars at all? Have your say below.

Daljinder Nagra


September 13, 2013

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