Scotland plans to make petrol and diesel cars obsolete by 2032

Matt Brian

It's become pretty clear that the petrol and diesel cars are enjoying their final days in the sun, what with both the English and French governments vowing to phase them out by 2040. Their future goal gives them more than two decades to support the major carmakers as they transition to greener fuel sources, while implementing the necessary infrastructure to support them. Not to be outdone, the Scottish government today announced that it plans to implement its own green project a lot, vowing to phase out all petrol and diesel car sales eight years before their neighbours.

In the latest "Programme for Government," Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlined ways to "seize the opportunities of the low carbon revolution" by promoting the use of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) and reducing the need for vehicles powered by fossil fuels. In order to achieve its target, the government will tackle the lack of electric charging points in rural, urban and domestic areas by investing in rapid charging units that mean drivers can travel further and spend less time off the road.

Scotland is also set to get its own "electric highway." The country's longest road, the A9, will be littered with electric charging points, "demonstrating that electric vehicles offer important advantages to motorists in rural, as well as urban, Scotland."

The government's other commitments are similar to those south of the border. The promotion of EVs to the public and private sectors is key, with the First Minister's specific making specific references to transforming car and van fleets by the mid 2020s and bus fleets by the early 2030s. Money will be put aside to finance large scale pilots across the city that extol the virtues of investing in greener transport.

While its plans stand alone from its neighbour's, Scotland's greener future is directly linked to the successes and failures of the UK government. "We recognise that many of the key fiscal levers still rest with the UK Government and we note their 2040 commitment," the SNP leader said. "We will ask them to play their part in meeting our ambitions by making full use of their reserved powers to help shape the market, including through vehicle standards and taxation."

Come 2032, not all cars will be ultra-low emission, but Scotland hopes that the majority will either be powered purely by electricity or have a hybrid option. By investing in the country's EV infrastructure, the government believes consumers will be confident enough to make their next car an electric model, allowing it to phase out petrol vehicles without having to specifically outlaw them.

Scottish Government