Scottish Liberal Democrats call for electric vehicle loan terms to be extended
Loan terms for electric vehicles should be extended from six to nine years to encourage more people to switch from petrol to diesel, the Scottish Liberal Democrats have said.
The party is calling for the Low Carbon Transport Loan program, also known as the Electric Vehicle Loan, to be significantly expanded.
Over the past decade it 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 spokesman, said extending the terms of the loan could save up to £100 a month for a typical car and encourage greater uptake.
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Mr McArthur said: “If the Scottish Government is serious about tackling the climate emergency, 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 all, which is why the Scottish Liberal Democrats are proposing to put the brakes on with an expanded loan scheme and longer repayment periods.
“As well as ensuring that all new public sector vehicles will be electric in the future, this is a sensible way to give Scotland new hope in the fight against the climate emergency.”
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A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “The Low Carbon Transport Loan is a key part of the Scottish Government’s suite of incentives aimed at increasing the uptake 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 in this type in the UK.
“The current repayment period of up to six years strikes a good balance between affordability and flexibility for consumers.
“All aspects of the scheme are continually reviewed by the Scottish Government to ensure it remains effective in helping Scottish drivers make the transition to electric vehicles and supports our goal of becoming a net zero nation of here 2045.”