£7.8m is being made available to businesses in Scotland in a bid to help reduce transport emissions.
Through the Low Carbon Transport Loan Fund, businesses can apply for interest free loans of up to £100,000, while for individuals loans of up to £35,000 are available. The funding can be accessed via the Energy Saving Trust, with loans repayable over a period of up to six years.
Businesses can also use the loan for a range of other sustainable transport projects including installing vehicle telematics, video conferencing and cycling facilities.
Transport Scotland says there has been ‘steady growth’ in the number of electric cars on Scotland’s roads in the last 10 years, culminating in a 54% increase in the number of plug-in electric vehicles registered during 2015.
Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s minister for transport, said: “Our aim is to help support the move to low carbon road transport by getting more electric vehicles on the road, and, where there are not currently electric alternatives, make the existing fleet more efficient.
"This £7.8m investment in interest free loans presents a significant increase on previous years funding and presents a fantastic opportunity for those who have been seriously considering purchasing an electric vehicle.
“Making the switch to electric, enables businesses and individuals to make a direct contribution to local air quality, whilst also improving the health and wellbeing of our communities.”
Harry Mayers, head of new services at the Energy Saving Trust, said: “This new funding will help save Scotland more than 11,000 tonnes of CO2: the equivalent of removing over 4,000 cars from Scottish roads for a year.
“Encouraging people to swap petrol and diesel cars for electric also has a big impact on air quality so this initiative will help to improve people’s health in Scotland.”