Greener Travel

Why buy an electric vehicle?

One of the more fuel-efficient or alternative-fuelled vehicles on the market could cut your carbon emissions, fuel bills and vehicle tax. Plus the most eco-friendly cars don’t require vehicle tax at all.

Whatever kind of car you go for, ask about fuel consumption before you buy, especially if you go for a used car. Or search for the most efficient makes and models. Alternatively, save your money and join your local car club instead.

Driving an electric vehicle has a positive impact on both the health and environment of Scotland, through reduced emissions. You can save on fuel costs and vehicle tax too. And with excellent grants and charging facilities available in Scotland, it’s getting easier every day to go electric.

More people are choosing electric vehicles and the variety of models available from major manufacturers is increasing all the time, with great vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe and the BMW i3.

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Driver Case Studies

Caroline from Edinburgh drives an electric vehicle every day as a midwife:

Adrian enjoys the low cost of driving in his electric vehicle:

Electric car guide

We explain the difference between electric vehicles (EVs), extended-range EVs (EREVs), and hybrid cars (PHEVs), with details of costs and savings, including grants you can get towards the cost of plug-in cars. Video courtesy of the Energy Saving Trust.

Financial incentives to buy an electric vehicle

  • Very low running costs (2–3p/mile)
  • Network of free public charging points across Scotland
  • Plug-in Car Grant to pay up to £5,000 (car) and £8,000 (van) towards purchase price
  • Interest-free loan of up to £50,000
  • 100% funding for a dedicated home charge point
  • Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts – meaning lower servicing costs
  • Battery lease options are available
  • Exempt from vehicle tax and fuel duty
  • Free from company car tax until 2015

Check out the range of grants and funding available.

Electric vehicles have proven their reliability in the more than 30 years they’ve been on UK roads. Your electric car should come with a similar warranty to any other car – and you can generally extend the usual three-year warranty to five for added peace of mind.

An increasing number of households across the country are choosing electric vehicles – see what E-cosse is doing to help increase uptake in Scotland.

Other benefits of battery power

  • A quiet, smooth drive
  • Deals easily with stop-start city traffic
  • Zero CO2 exhaust emissions
  • Option to rent rather than buy a battery – so it’s easier to replace
  • Clean, green driving thanks to Scotland’s growing renewable electricity generation

Benefits of Electrical Vehicles for Business

Support is available to Scottish businesses to adopt electric vehicles, through the Energy Saving Trust’s Sustainable Transport Advice Service. Get in touch to find out how electric vehicles could offer your business savings on fuel, vehicle excise duty and leasing costs, as well as being great news for the Scottish environment. For more information, visit the Energy Saving Trust.

Electric vehicles in Scotland

Transport Scotland, working closely with partners from across the electric vehicle community, has developed Scotland’s Electric Vehicle Roadmap.

The Roadmap sets out a vision for Scotland’s electric vehicle future – that by 2050 Scotland’s towns, cities and communities will be free from the damaging effects of petrol and diesel-fuelled vehicles. Electric vehicles will not only help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change, but also help improve local air quality and therefore public health and wellbeing.

Government investment is helping to make electric vehicles more accessible to the Scottish public and Scottish businesses. This investment includes funding and grants to help towards purchase of electric vehicles and increasing the number of recharging points in homes, at workplaces and on Scotland’s roads.

Electric vehicles also have the potential to help energise Scotland’s economy through opportunities for our flourishing green technology industries. To find out more about the future of electric vehicles in Scotland, visit Transport Scotland to read the full Roadmap document.

See the Roadmap