Edinburgh Partnership secures electric car funding

A host of new electric cars are set to be added to public sector agencies’ fleets across Edinburgh as funding is secured from the Scottish Government to promote sustainable travel.

The Edinburgh Partnership has been allocated £207,000 to encourage the use of green transport amongst its community planning partners.

The funds, made available through Transport Scotland as part of the Scottish Government's Electric Vehicle Procurement Support Scheme, will allow community planning partners to fund the price difference between traditionally-powered vehicles and their electric equivalents.

As well as the six new electric cars ordered by the City of Edinburgh Council, two are to be purchased by Lothian and Borders Police and two will be leased by NHS Lothian. The new electric vehicles will be on the road by spring 2012.

Three charging points will be installed at Council offices, whilst Edinburgh Napier University is set to add another three.

Councillor Jenny Dawe, Chair of The Edinburgh Partnership, said: "Protecting and improving the environment is extremely important and anything which encourages sustainable transport is very welcome. This funding will help achieve this. The fact that electric vehicles are cheaper to run is a welcome bonus."

The new electric cars will help in reducing CO2 emissions and tie in with the Scottish Government's legislation on climate change.

Keith Brown MSP, Minister for Housing and Transport, said: "We are committed to achieving our target of almost total decarbonisation of road transportation by 2050 and a wholesale shift to electric and other low carbon vehicles will be key to making this a reality.

'We have already invested over £8m to support public bodies in switching to electric vehicles and installing charging points and I am delighted this funding has enabled our partners in Edinburgh to purchase these cutting edge electric vehicles and install charging points.

'This will not only allow them to play their part in reducing carbon emissions but also encourage others in and around Edinburgh to consider environmentally friendly electric vehicles as a viable, affordable alternative to the petrol car.'

Analysis of the Council's current electric vehicles, which have been on the road since August 2011, revealed that on average one Nissan Leaf, doing over 6000 miles a year, will reduce CO2 emissions by five tonnes.

Six similar electric cars could be estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by 30 tonnes and save 1270 gallons of petrol at a cost of £5,000. The cars generate no emissions and can be charged overnight at off-peak rates.

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