The Scottish Government has confirmed £20.6 million of funding to support the uptake of electric vehicles.

To incentivise, encourage and promote the use of ultra-low emission electric vehicles – local authorities in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Sterling, Dundee and Falkirk have been awarded £12.1 million in support through the first round of the Switched on Towns & Cities Challenge Fund which will bring a further 500 charge points to the public.

In addition, the latest phase of the Local Authority Installation Programme will see 31 local authorities receive a total of £8.5 million in funding throughout the financial year for electric vehicle infrastructure to deliver approximately 300 charge points. The programme aims to fill gaps in existing infrastructure provision to promote ‘range confidence’ for electric vehicle drivers.

The Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure & Connectivity Michael Matheson announced the funding as he broke ground on the construction of a new electric vehicle charging hub outside Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk Council has been awarded over half a million pounds of support to develop the hub, to ensure 24/7 access to charging points at a central location.

“Supporting the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles is integral to Scotland’s sustainable economic growth,” Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson said. “Electric vehicles are a key component of our Climate Change Plan and our goal of making Scotland’s air quality the best in Europe. That is why we have set our ambitious target to phase out the need to purchase new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.

“Electric vehicles can bring profound benefits and announcing over £20 million to support new electric vehicle infrastructure, further reinforcing what is already one of the most comprehensive charging networks in Europe, demonstrates the strength of our continued commitment to this agenda.

John Bynorth at Environmental Protection Scotland added: “People are more aware of the environmental benefits of electric vehicle ownership and the costs of buying the vehicles are coming down. We welcome this funding announcement which will help make range anxiety for electric vehicle drivers a thing of the past and further accelerate ownership of electric vehicles.”