McArthur urges government to take off brakes on electric vehicle loan scheme

Scottish Liberal Democrat climate emergency spokesperson Liam McArthur has today urged the Scottish Government to “take off the brakes” and expand a scheme to offer zero interest loans for electric vehicles in a move that could spread costs, reduce monthly bills by more than £100 and enable more people to make the switch.

Since 2010, those wishing to purchase an electric vehicle can access an interest-free Low Carbon Transport Loan (LCTL) from the Scottish Government. However, in the past decade, just 4,464 loans were approved. Scotland has around 3 million vehicles licensed for use on the roads. 

The LCTL currently provides an interest free loan of up to £28,000 with a repayment term of up to 6 years. Scottish Liberal Democrats are now calling for the scheme to be massively expanded and the length over which loans may be repaid increased to nine years. Spreading the costs would cut payments by up to a third – worth more than £100 a month for a typical car loan - making electric vehicles possible for a far greater number of people.

Mr McArthur said: 

“If the Scottish Government are serious about tackling the climate emergency, then 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 in doing so.  

“There’s already a scheme in place to help increase the shift to electric vehicles but these figures show that take up is small, unlike the monthly repayments.  

“We need to make EVs accessible for everyone, that’s why Scottish Liberal Democrats are proposing to take off the brakes with an expanded loan scheme and longer repayment periods. 

“Alongside making sure all new public sector vehicles are electric in future, this is a common-sense way to give Scotland new hope in tackling the climate emergency. 

“Too often from this SNP government we get warm words and hot air. Only the Scottish Liberal Democrats offer the chance to tackle the climate emergency without the baggage of nationalism.”  

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