MORE than £30 million is set to be spent by the Scottish Government this year to support the move to electric vehicles.

£28 million will be made available as part of the Low Carbon Transport Loan scheme, which provides people with up to £28,000 in interest-free loans for a new electric car or £10,000 for an electric bike or scooter.

Loans of up to £20,000 and £5000 are also available for second-hand cars and bikes respectively.

Additionally, £1.75 million will be spent on the Plugged In Communities initiative.

This provides funding to community groups who wish to buy an electric car for a car-sharing club.

A further £1.7 million is also available for infrastructure grants to install electric vehicle charging points.

Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth said: “Whether it’s electric miles or petrol miles, we know we need to reduce car kilometres by 20% across the board to meet our climate targets.

“Coupled with continued support for zero emission car clubs, I’m pleased we’re expanding support for community transport schemes.

“This will help eliminate the need for individual car ownership and ensure it’s not just the wealthiest in society who can benefit from modern EVs.”

She added: “Our funding package of over £30 million for zero emission grants and loans will be refocused to support the many people and businesses, particularly in rural areas, who still require access to vehicles.

“By providing interest-free loans for used electric cars and for new light commercial vehicles and taxis, we continue to support our ambition to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.”

Neil Leckie, senior programme manager at the Energy Saving Trust, who administer the loans on behalf of the Scottish Government, said: “The Low Carbon Transport Loans have been instrumental in providing much-needed support for drivers in Scotland to lower both their carbon impact and fuel costs.

“We are motivated by the progress made over the past 10 years, having worked closely with Transport Scotland to deliver more than £165 million in interest-free loans to support the purchase of over 6100 electric vehicles.

“In the year ahead, we look forward to continuing to create lasting change, including making used electric vehicles accessible to a wider audience by reducing upfront costs – supporting a just transition to net zero.”

Applications for the 2022-23 round of the loans open on June 8.