A new collaboration between government, industry leaders and environmental campaigners will try to get more electric vehicles on the roads in Scotland.
Transport Minister Keith Brown today (WED) launched the E-Cosse partnership which brings together Transport Scotland with car manufacturers, power companies, local authorities and WWF Scotland to maximise the opportunities for EVs to become an essential part of Scotland’s greener transport system.
Speaking at the E-Vent Conference on electric cars in Edinburgh, Mr Brown revealed that the partnership will help lead to the Scottish Government vision of almost complete decarbonisation of road transport by 2050.
He said: “The Scottish Government has ambitious climate change targets but I believe they are entirely achievable.
This partnership will help us work with key stakeholders to develop a shared vision and set future priorities to promote the uptake of electric vehicles in Scotland.
“It will also allow us to take forward exciting economic opportunities for innovative Scottish businesses and our education and research institutions in the low carbon vehicle and renewable energy sectors.
Electric cars reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and cut noise pollution, in addition the cheaper running costs means a journey from Edinburgh to Glasgow on a single charge will only cost £1.50, and right now they are exempt from road tax.
E-cosse will allow us to promote these benefits to a wider audience.
“Alongside partnership working, our investment and education in EVs and charging points will see them become a far more common and welcome sight on Scotland’s roads in the years to come.”
The partnership currently consists of Transport Scotland, WWF Scotland, Axeon, vehicle manufacturers Allied Vehicles and Nissan, Dundee City Council, IBI Group, Scottish Power, Serco, Siemens, SSE and University of Strathclyde, with opportunities for a wide range of other organisations to join and support the initiative.
WWF Scotland will act as host organisation for ‘Project E-cosse’ and will deliver three key activities, which will commence from April 2012:
* EV Strategy Board: a high-level forum of leaders from government and industry to promote policies and programmes that advance EV adoption and maximise economic opportunities for Scotland.
* EV Roadmap: expert stakeholders will work with Transport Scotland to develop a shared vision and set future priorities and actions to advance wholesale adoption of EVs.
* EV Readiness Initiative: work to establish a portfolio of projects to advance EV adoption and implement the recommendations of the roadmap.
Dr Sam Gardner, Senior Climate Change Policy Officer at WWF Scotland said:
“E-cosse is an exciting initative that brings together the expertise and enthusiasm of key stakeholders to help jump start Scotland’s electric vehicle revolution.
“With transport responsible for a quarter of Scotland’s climate emissions, we have long campaigned for EVs to be part of our future low carbon transport system and we look forward to working with Transport Scotland and colleagues from industry to help make Scotland’s transport future electric.”
Over the past two years, the Scottish Government has invested over £8million in electric vehicles and infrastructure, enabling Scotland’s public services to purchase around 270 low carbon vehicles.
And Plugged-in Places Scotland, the scheme to install EV charging points, has been expanded from the original central belt target area to include all of Scotland.
Under the project, 74 points were installed in 2010-2011, a further 240 will be installed in 2011-2012, and approximately 170 in 2012-2013, in households, in workplaces, in publicly accessible locations and to connect our cities.
Gordon McGregor, Energy & Environment Director at ScottishPower said:-
“ScottishPower welcomes the setting up of E-cosse to advance the introduction of EVs within Scotland.
“The new body will be able to link together a high level government strategy with a new priorities and projects to increase the uptake of electric vehicles.
“We look forward to seeing the outcome of the partnership between central Government, industry and the public sector deliver progress in EV awareness, infrastructure, accessibility and the development of common standards.
“Scotland has a big opportunity in the move towards electric vehicles. Widespread adoption of EVs can deliver lower levels of pollution, lower cost for users and can harness the benefit of Scottish renewable electricity production.”