Is end near for petrol and diesel as E-vehicle plan is welcomed?

Plans to phase petrol and diesel vehicles in Scotland by 2032 have been welcomed in the isles – but questions remain over the practicalities.

Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement on Tuesday as part of the Scottish government’s programme for government.

The First Minister revealed the “ambitious target” in Holyrood regarding new petrol and diesel cars, as well as

A map of electric charging points around Shetland.

This, she said was eight years ahead of the UK government and promised more details would follow over the next few months.

These would include information to “massively expand” the number of electric charging points in rural, domestic and urban settings.

A £60 million fund is being made available by the government to “accelerate innovation in new technologies, including low carbon and digital projects by 2020”.

The SIC has installed a dozen charging points across the isles, with six in Lerwick and a further six in more remote areas, on the back of external funding.

Charging points outside of the town include Dunrossness, Baltasound, Bixter, Brae Health Centre, Fetlar and the Ulsta ferry terminal in Yell.

It is currently free to charge up your vehicle, though the council is looking to bring in fees in future.

The SIC’s Mary Lisk, the team leader responsible for carbon management, said technology had developed which was suitable for a rural community.

She noted the Renault Zoe, which could do between 150 and 200 miles on a single charge.

She added a £5,000 grant was available from the Energy Savings Trust for people to install their own charging point at home.

The SIC and NHS are using electric vehicles, taking delivery of five vans to the tune of £60,000 thanks to grant funding from the government.

The local authority has another two vehicles on three-year leases using electric power, again thanks to government funding.

Government funding has been available for householders to install charge points at home, and the SIC said nationally a number of wind turbine owners have been charging vehicles from their own wind power, which it said could be a real opportunity for people in Shetland.

Chairman of the council’s environment and transport committee Ryan Thomson said he was ambitious but called for the community to work together.

“I would suggest that a lot of work needs to be done in Shetland to achieve this, but I would also suggest a lot of work needs to be done nationally.

“I very much welcome the ambition. I would rather it be too ambitious than not ambitious enough.”

Ryan Thomson.

Mr Thomson said such proposals emphasised a need for an interconnector cable to import and export electricity from the isles.

As the owner of Tagon Stores, he said the shop received a lot of passing trade from fuel sales, and believed businesses could work with the SIC in future.

“If we know they [petrol and diesel vehicles] are being phased out then we need to start looking to the future and be on our toes to see what we can replace that with.

“I hope that there will be technology if you’re coming into your local shop, and instead of just parking up, you park up and plug into something as you do your shopping.

“The council has a responsibility to liaise with businesses. Working together I think is the only way achieving something as big as this will work.”
Director of infrastructure services Maggie Sandison said the SIC was behind greater use of electric vehicles.

“What we’ve been able to do is access money from the government to put in the infrastructure to support electric vehicles. Every opportunity we get to put more infrastructure to support the transition, then we will be doing that.

“We’ve also accessed money for electric vehicles for the council and we have a number of electric vehicles.

“We will continue to access funding for the council to change because we have felt it is clearly a substantial change and we will have to meet that target.”

Mrs Sandison felt it was a positive step and vehicle manufacturers would develop and invest in technology, with better batteries and charging, the ability to travel further and even the style of vehicles might differ in future.

She said it was important that green energy was used to charge the electricity points. “I think as the transition happens it will allow more green technology to come in because charging vehicles causes a demand,” she said.

Darren Boxwell of Jim’s Garage has experience of selling hybrid vehicles.

He agreed technology was moving at a rapid pace and more people were showing an interest in hybrid vehicles. In the last year the dealer’s sales were “well into double figures”.

He said Toyota had a “plug-in” Prius car though they had not sold one in Shetland, and Mitsubishi also had an electric model.

More car manufacturers, Mr Boxwell said were looking to electric models.

He said: “I think people need to be willing to be prepared for change instead of being stuck in ways of petrol and diesel. They need to expand their minds to electric and hybrid, not avoiding it.”

A sufficient number of charging points would be needed in future, he said.

While there were a few points in Lerwick, he said “if everybody is going to be driving one I think there would need to be more than one at certain locations so there’s not going to be a queue to get use of it.”

According to the DVLA as of April this year there were 29 licensed vehicles in the isles either fully electric or plug in hybrid. This is compared to 16 vehicles at the end of 2015.


Add Your Comment
  • John Tulloch

    • September 11th, 2017 12:42

    £60 million from Day One and more to come – much more.

    Grants of £5000 to install domestic charging equipment – from the ‘Energy Savings Trust’? Exactly what “energy”, pray, is being saved here?

    And free electric fuel from Shetland Islands Council? Oh,… I thought they were short of money?

    Great, if you’re one of those already well-off people who can afford to buy an electric car.

  • ian tinkler

    • September 11th, 2017 14:46

    Has anyone in the SIC done the slightest bit of Scientific investigation of EVs (Electronic Vehicles)? Tesla, the supposed leader in the field is teetering on bankruptcy. It has been forced to cancel all of its warranties on new vehicles due to reliability problems. Further to that detailed Scientific data (: Mia Romare, Lisbeth Dahllöf, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute) has shown that the CO2 footprint of its latest “State of the art” Lithium battery is the equivalent of running an internal combustion engine for approximately eight and a half years. All these facts are in the public domain and with “independent” scientific proofs there of. I reference but two. Please note these are independent studies, not the hype of the commercial lobbies and assorted Green zealots.

  • David Spence

    • September 12th, 2017 15:13

    We would be better looking at new methods of producing food.

    Agriculture produces far, far more green house gases than all the modes of transport put together.

    Not only does Agriculture produce much more pollution to the environment, it is also responsible for the destruction of natural habitat as well as the mass extinction of species.

    Car pollution doesn’t even come close to the pollution Agriculture causes.

    We are being fooled into thinking transportation is the sole cause to green house gases in the environment, when it is very much other industries doing most of the pollution.

  • ian tinkler

    • September 13th, 2017 13:47

    Further to David’s comment, perhaps one of the single most destructive processes going on this planet and a major reason for global warming is mass deforestation. This is not only the loss of the Rainforests (Amazon) but also mass deforestation of woodland far closer to home. All woodland acts as a carbon capture and store. Very sadly our very own “Green Lunatics” actually finance the burning of wood chips on Shetland and call that a renewable source of energy. Temperate woodland is destroyed and burnt. All that trapped CO2 released into the atmosphere, Scottish forests can no longer meet the demand or North American forests so now the remorseless Green vandals are stripping Eastern Europe of forests and shipping to Shetland. Somehow, they claim this wood burn is renewable as the replace plant a monoculture of pine saplings. It will take at best 50 probably 100 years this these to grow. Who supports this destructive destruction? Just guess., Highland and Island Enterprise, The SIC, The SCT and naturally the SNP/SG. Just further food for thought, burning wood chip is more polluting than burning coal. Remember that when you go for as Swim in Scallowy pool or Aith.

    • Johan Adamson

      • September 14th, 2017 8:44

      I’ve heard also that it is getting harder and more expensive to buy wood for fencing or building because they get more money to pulp and burn it for biomass.

      • ian tinkler

        • September 14th, 2017 17:55

        Johan, the sad thing is burning wood is more polluting than burning coal and at the same time, it destroys natural woodland and all those habitats and that beautiful wildlife. Do you wonder why I hold the Green Idiots in such utter contempt? Especially the ignorant politicians that back such stupidity!!! Shetland seems to breed them, especially some of the leadership of past Councils and our Charitable Trust!!!

      • Ali Inkster

        • September 14th, 2017 23:49

        I widna want ta be bigging me hoose fae wid dat wis suitable fir pulping, pulp wood is fast growing whereas da best timber for construction is slow growing.

      • Johan Adamson

        • September 15th, 2017 10:51

        Ali ask some of the building trade or farm suppliers why the price of strainers is going up.

      • John Tulloch

        • September 15th, 2017 11:26

        If land previously used for growing building-quality wood is now used for growing biomass then there will, presumably, be less better quality wood available and in the absence of a fall in demand for it, its price would likely rise?

  • ian tinkler

    • September 16th, 2017 9:19

    Just a few facts about wood chip burn, pertinent to Shetland.
    Specific CO2 release per unit of heat produced.
    Wood 0.39 KgCO2/Kwh
    Coal 0.34 KgCO2/Kwh
    Natural Gas (Total) 0.2 KgCO2/Kwh (NB wood nearly twice the CO2 per unit of heat)
    Toxic pollutants from wood chip. (variable depending on wood source)
    Oxides of nitrogen (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), small particulates (PM10, including PM2.5) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) ,Antimony, Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Dioxins and Furans, Lead, Manganese, Mercury (
    Yes, Scotland’s very own Green Lunatics are really servicing us well. No doubt many in Shetland are lining their pockets at public expense! All that grant money from the EU and Highland and Islands Development. (

  • Peter smith

    • September 16th, 2017 11:02

    Two questions/thoughts:
    According to Shetland in statistics there some 14000 vehicles in the private light goods class in Shetland. How are going to go about replacing them all in 14 years?

    According to the office for budget responsibility fuel duty will yield some £27.5 billion in 2017_18. Where will the government get that from when we’re no longer buying petrol and diesel?

  • ian tinkler

    • September 16th, 2017 14:14

    Shetland will have to find massively larger amounts of electrical power in ever-increasing quantities as the expanding fleet of battery-powered cars and council transport vans progress.
    At this time and for the foreseeable future where will this electrical generation come from? O yes, of course by more oil burning generation at the Lerwick Power Station. So our vehicular Carbon footprint will increase considerably as this generation and storage process using carbon inefficient Lithium Batteries. Straight fuel burn in conventional vehicles has a far smaller carbon footprint. Running those EVs on Gremister generated power will considerably increase the carbon footprint of Shetland, it is idiotic!.
    Only the Green Lunatics would invest in EVs and infrastructure before a carbon-neutral electricity supply was up and running. At this time, plans for such generation are pure pie in the sky. Well no surprises here then, same old Green lunatics running the show. Same old narrow brained fools in the SIC and Scotish Government. It would be hard to make it up, but the Green industry gets loads of money, our money while our very own lemmings slavishly follow the PR show put on by that industry.!!!


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