Housing associations receive funding for electric car share schemes

Eight housing associations are to share a £510,000 investment from the Scottish Government towards electric hire car clubs to allow people to rent low-emission vehicles.

The Plugged-in Households Grant Fund will support the associations to procure the services of car clubs.

Housing associations receive funding for electric car share schemes

(from left) Transport secretary Michael Matheson, Evelyn McDowall, director of group assets at Wheatley Group, Tony Archer from Co-wheels and Ellie Grebenik, senior programme manager Energy Saving Trust

Tenants, local residents and staff will then be able to hire electric vehicles when they require the use of a car. The fund also provides financial support for housing associations to promote these new services locally.

The housing associations to be supported include:

  • Wheatley Group
  • Queens Cross Housing Association
  • Osprey Housing
  • Orkney Housing Association
  • Ore Valley Housing Association
  • Melville Housing Association
  • Linstone Housing Association
  • Grampian Housing Association

The fund, which launched for the first time in October last year, has created opportunities across locations such as Aberdeenshire, Elgin, Fife, Glasgow, Midlothian, Paisley and Orkney for local residents to experience the benefits of electric vehicles.

The Plugged-in Households Grant Fund has been delivered and administered by Energy Saving Trust following funding from Transport Scotland to provide viable alternatives to car ownership and allow more people to experience the benefits of modern ultra-low emission vehicles.

Cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, Michael Matheson, said: “I’m delighted that this government has been able to provide more than half a million pounds to provide real alternatives to car ownership in local communities. This scheme provides potential car sharing solutions to at least 100,000 homes so that more people, including housing association tenants, will now be able to experience the benefits of modern ultra-low emission vehicles at a fraction of the cost required to purchase or lease an electric vehicle.

“We have outlined a bold ambition to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032. Like all new technology, we anticipate that prices for electric vehicles will drop over time, however, the benefits for air quality are so profound that we are taking steps now to extend access across the country through this scheme and many others.

“Plugged-in Households is an innovative project making e-mobility more inclusive, accessible and affordable. Equally, it provides a real option for those who feel they need a car occasionally, without having to lease, buy, maintain and insure a vehicle – which is incredibly valuable in terms of encouraging a more sustainable transport network.

“For those who feel they need to own a car, or those who are thinking of switching to electric, we provide significant support to encourage electric vehicles in Scotland. From interest free loans for vehicles, to support for home and business charge points, there are many incentives to take advantage of to help people switch today.”

Ellie Grebenik, senior programme manager at Energy Saving Trust, said: “Plugged-in Households grant funding will open up access to electric vehicles across numerous Scottish housing association locations. Tenants, staff and the wider community can enjoy sustainable transport through the convenience of car clubs.

“The adoption of EVs is accelerating all the time, supported by interest free loans and a growing charging infrastructure. The switch to EVs plays an important part reducing emissions and improving the country’s air quality in line with Transport Scotland’s strategy.”

Tom Barclay, Wheatley Group director of property and development, said: “At Wheatley, we share the Scottish Government’s commitment to making communities more sustainable. The electric car club scheme is part of that commitment and we’re looking forward to rolling out the first cars for our tenants and staff in Glasgow to use.

“Having these electric cars in 11 of our neighbourhoods will help some people get around in a more affordable and environmentally friendly way.”

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