NHS Scotland’s ambitions for a greener vehicle fleet have been strengthened thanks to Scottish Government support of £1.36 million to fund 112 new electric cars. This will increase the number of Ultra-Low Emission vehicles in the NHS shared service fleet by almost 80%.
These vehicles will replace existing fossil-fuelled vehicles across a number of NHS shared service functions and regions, reducing the CO2 equivalent tailpipe emissions by at least 168 tonnes every year by comparison.
Welcoming the news that NHS Scotland have accessed available Scottish Government funding, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson, joined NHS Lothian, NHS National Services Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital to learn more about the work already underway to decarbonise existing fleets.
Michael Matheson said:
“NHS Scotland is demonstrating leadership by moving at an incredible pace in taking steps to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions through their plans to decarbonise their vehicle fleet. The 2019 Programme for Government outlined our commitment to phase out the need for new petrol or diesel cars in the public sector fleet by 2025 and for all other vehicles in the public sector fleet by 2030.
This decision by the NHS directly supports that ambition and responds to the climate emergency, supporting our Climate Change Plan and our vision for Scotland’s air quality to be the best in Europe – and builds on the activity already undertaken by the Scottish Ambulance Service.
I’m pleased we can support public sector leadership by providing support through the Scottish Government Switched on Fleets Fund which exists to help local authorities and public organisations, like the NHS and Scottish Ambulance Service, to make the important transition to greener, zero-emission vehicle fleets.”
Over the coming years, NHS Scotland plans to remove all cars and small vans that operate on petrol or diesel fuel with either electric or hybrid vehicles. The current fleet of 27 electric vehicles is gearing up to increase this to 39 by March 2020 working closely with manufacturers to ensure that this new fleet delivers the best value for the NHS and for Scotland.
The Scottish Government continues to provide funding through the successful Switched on Fleets programme, which has already provided over £13 million to public bodies, to support investment in zero or ultra-low emission vehicles. Over 1250 zero or ultra-low emission vehicles will soon be in service across Scotland’s public sector fleet, replacing vehicles that would have been renewed by traditional petrol or diesel vehicles.