The Electric Vehicle Loan, which also offers up to £50,000 for individual motorists, is open to anyone looking to buy a new electric or plug-in hybrid car or van.

The loan is funded by the Scottish Government agency Transport Scotland, and can cover 100% of the cost of an electric car and be repaid over a period of up to six years.

Scottish Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: “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.

“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.”

Growing infrastructure

Electric cars cost around 3p per mile to run, compared with around 15p per mile for the average petrol car, and incur no road tax.

Harry Mayers, head of new services at the Energy Saving Trust which is administering the loans, said: “We’re seeing an increasing amount of interest in electric cars as the technology develops and the charging infrastructure continues to grow across Scotland.

“This loan fund from Transport Scotland will help people to turn that interest into action and benefit from the long-term cost savings that electric cars offer. “

The loan can also be used alongside the existing UK Government Plug-In Car and Van Grant scheme, which offers grants of up to £5,000 for those buying a new electric car and £8,000 for a van.

Earlier this week, a Government study found that Ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) are increasingly being used like ‘normal’ cars.

In households which own ULEVs, 82% use the low emission car as their main vehicle, while 20% of people who own electric vehicles use it as their only vehicle.

The UK’s electric vehicle market is growing rapidly, with sales up 256% year on year according to Go Ultra Low and sales of ULEVs reached more than 9,000 in the first quarter of 2015

Brad Allen

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