Everyone should be able to take an electric car out “for a spin”, according to a Lib Dem plan to encourage the shift from petrol and diesel.
As part of the drive, party leader Alex Cole-Hamilton also called for new public sector vehicles to be electric.
He suggested long-term government-backed interest free loans would help people buy the vehicles.
The scheme, outlined at the Lib Dem party conference, would effectively allow anyone to try out an electric car for a weekend, all funded by the government.
We revealed earlier this month that more than half of the Scottish Government’s car fleet is electric or electric hybrid, according to new figures.
‘Cost is a barrier’
Mr Cole-Hamilton said “cost is a barrier” to the public in using electric cars as he argued for the vehicles to be made more affordable.
“I hear people say they would drive an electric car if they could trust the charging network,” he said.
“So let’s give government a real stake in making those chargers available and keeping them running. Let’s insist new public sector vehicles are electric.
“I hear people say cost is a barrier. Let’s spread those costs so they are affordable, with longer government-backed interest free loans. That could be worth more than £100 a month to household budgets.”
He said people need to trust an electric vehicle can get them from A to B.
The MSP added: “Take an electric vehicle for a spin for a weekend and the government will pick up the tab. Take one for a trip and folk won’t look back.”
The SNP is pledging to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars across Scotland by 2030 in a bid to tackle the climate crisis – and part of this includes having all public sector fleets electric by 2025.
The figures we obtained show 116 out of the Scottish Government’s 206 cars are electric or electric hybrids.
Part of the reason for introducing electric cars to public sector fleets is to lead the way and encourage the wider public to opt for electric cars in the future.