A scheme that offers zero-interest loans for electric vehicles should be extended to encourage more people to switch from gasoline to diesel, the Scottish Liberal Democrats say.
The party is calling for the extension of the low-carbon transportation loan program, also known as the electric vehicle loan, which would see loan terms reduced from six to nine years.
Over the past decade, the program has provided around 4,500 interest-free loans of up to £ 28,000, provided by the Energy Savings Trust with funding from Transport Scotland.
Liam McArthur, Lib Dems climate spokesperson, said extending loan terms could save up to £ 100 per month for a typical car and encourage greater adoption.
McArthur said: ‘If the Scottish government is 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 doing it.
“We need to make electric vehicles accessible to everyone, which is why the Scottish Liberal Democrats are proposing to slow down with an expanded loan program and longer repayment periods.
“As well as ensuring that all new public sector vehicles will be electric in the future, this is a common sense way to give Scotland new hope in tackling the climate emergency. . “
A spokesperson for Transport Scotland said: ‘The loan for low carbon transport is a key part of the Scottish Government’s package of incentives to increase adoption of zero emission vehicles.
“Since its launch in 2011, the Low Carbon Transport Loan has provided interest-free loans worth over £ 144million to over 5,700 individuals and businesses across Scotland and is the only loan of its kind UK.
“The current repayment period of up to six years strikes a good balance between affordability and flexibility for consumers.
‘All aspects of the program are continuously reviewed by the Scottish Government to ensure that it remains effective in helping Scottish drivers make the transition to electric vehicles and that it supports our goal of becoming a net zero nation. ‘by 2045.’