25 September 2013

Toyota Prius PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid EV)

When you think ‘electric vehicle’, what images spring to mind? Trust me, it’s different for everyone!

Energy Savings TrustAt the Energy Saving Trust, we do a lot of thinking about EVs (as they’re called by those in the know). We provide advice and guidance which enables consumers and businesses to think about the technology as a viable alternative to the combustion engine.

The good news in 2013 is that, finally, it really is!

Moving to EVs is good for our environment, helps cut carbon emissions and reduce noise pollution, and benefits drivers through cheaper running costs.

In fact, EV owners can get from Edinburgh to Glasgow on a single charge for around £1.50 – and the vehicles are exempt from road tax.

Transport Scotland are right behind EVs. In fact, in February they pledged to invest £2.6 million installing a nationwide network of charging points, including public charging facilities at least every 50 miles on trunk roads.

In the future, with the help of rapid chargers which can fill a battery to 80% in half an hour, longer journeys will be eminently practical.

Government support in the form of grants towards the purchase of electric cars help address the higher initial cost of the vehicles. Anyone buying electric or plug-in cars can benefit from a grant of 25% of the vehicle’s price, up to a maximum value of £5,000.

Additionally, charge an EV through one of Scotland’s growing number of publicly available charging points and the electricity is FREE until the end of December 2014.

Sound attractive? It actually gets better. Qualifying organisations can apply for a grant of up to £10,000 to install a publicly-available charging point through the ChargePlace Scotland project, funded by Transport Scotland.

If you’re a VIBES Awards entrant – or even if you’re not – your organisation can benefit from our advice. Our free sustainable transport reviews give recommendations to help your organisation reduce the cost and carbon impact of current transport and travel arrangements, replacing them with new, more efficient alternatives.

Good luck with your VIBES Award entry (if you have one), and here’s to a cleaner, greener Scotland for everyone!

By Ian Murdoch, manager for Scottish transport at the Energy Saving Trust, Scotland.

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