Sunday, July 7, 2013

'Pitiful' two percent of Scottish Government cars are electric

The Scottish Government has been urged to lead by example in its drive towards greener transport after figures showed just two percent of the vehicles in its fleet are electric.
The call was made by the Scottish Liberal Democrats' transport spokesman Tavish Scott, who described the situation as "pitiful".
The figure was revealed by Finance Secretary John Swinney in response to a parliamentary question from Mr Scott, who asked how many cars in the Holyrood administration's fleet were either electric or hybrid vehicles.
Mr Swinney said the Scottish Government has four electric vehicles, 2% of the total, and 22 hybrid vehicles, making up 10% of the fleet.
In February, the SNP government announced that 200 charging points for electric cars are to be installed across Scotland as part of a £2.6m scheme that could help provide a "revolution on our roads".
Transport Minister Keith Brown hailed the project, which will see power points for electric vehicles installed at homes, workplaces, leisure centres, public car parks and ferry terminals. There will also be public charging points at intervals of no more than 50 miles on trunk roads.
On Sunday, the Scottish Lib Dems described the plans as ambitious but said the Government must start to "walk the walk" on climate action.
Mr Scott said: "It's pitiful that a government which talks the talk on climate change should have such a poor personal record on low carbon vehicles.
"With only four electric vehicles in the Scottish Government's fleet it looks as if some of the cabinet may find themselves having to cycle to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year if they want to keep emissions down.
"John Swinney's answer makes clear that the Scottish Government is lagging in efforts to meet its own target of complete decarbonisation of road transport by 2050. Only 10% of its own fleet are hybrid vehicles. After failing to meet climate change targets for the second year running the Scottish Government cannot allow efforts to tackle climate change to crawl along at a snail's pace.
"If the Scottish Government wants to see an electric revolution on our roads it must lead by example. The advancement of climate change will not wait while the Scottish Government gets its act together and the use of low carbon technologies such as Electric Vehicles will be crucial in our efforts to secure a sustainable energy mix."
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: "Policy failure by successive governments means climate emissions from road transport in Scotland have remained stuck at the same high level for over two decades.
"In its recently published climate action plan, ministers say that 120,000 electric vehicles need to be on Scotland's roads by 2020 if we're to be on track to meet our pollution reduction targets.
"This will only happen if government and others in the public sector quickly lead the way and commit to making their fleets 100% electric."