A scheme that offers zero interest loans for electric vehicles should be expanded to encourage more people to make the switch from petrol and diesel, according to the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
The party is calling for the expansion of the Low Carbon Transport Loan scheme, also known as the electric vehicle loan, which would see loan terms extended from six to nine years
Over the past decade, the scheme has provided around 4500 interest-free loans of up to £28,000, provided by the Energy Savings Trust through funding from Transport Scotland.
Liam McArthur, the Lib Dems’ climate spokesman, said extending the terms of the loan could save up to £100 a month for a typical car and encourage greater uptake.
McArthur said: “If the Scottish Government are serious about tackling the climate emergency, then we need to tackle our stubborn transport emissions.
“It’s not that people don’t want to change; they just don’t know how or need help in doing so.
“We need to make EVs accessible for everyone, that’s why Scottish Liberal Democrats are proposing to take off the brakes with an expanded loan scheme and longer repayment periods.
“Alongside making sure all new public sector vehicles are electric in future, this is a common-sense way to give Scotland new hope in tackling the climate emergency.”
A spokesman for Transport Scotland said: “The Low Carbon Transport Loan is a key element of the Scottish Government’s suite of incentives to increase the uptake of zero-emission vehicles.
“Since it launched in 2011, the Low Carbon Transport Loan has provided interest-free loans worth more than £144m to over 5700 individuals and businesses across Scotland and is the only loan of its kind in the UK.
“The current repayment period of up to six years offers a good balance between affordability and flexibility for consumers.
“All aspects of the scheme are continuously kept under review by the Scottish Government to ensure it remains effective at helping Scotland’s drivers make the transition to EV and that it supports our goal of becoming a net-zero nation by 2045.”