If there's one thing that unites the rest of Europe, it's a mutual dislike for England and the English - particularly those countries that are currently stuck with us like Scotland. While the Westminster announced plans to end sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040, Scotland thinks it can manage that feat eight years earlier.
In the latest Programme for Government, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlined a number of ways the country can "seize the opportunities of the low carbon revolution". That means promoting use of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) and reducing the number of vehicles powered by pollution-producing fossil fuels.
It's not going to be an easy target to reach, so the Scottish government is going to have to invest in rapid charging infrastructure across the country between now and 2022; making sure drivers get more miles out of their car and don't have to worry about being bored while they wait them to charge. Part of that will involve an 'electric highway', which will see the A9 covered in charging points to demonstrate "demonstrating that electric vehicles offer important advantages to motorists in rural, as well as urban, Scotland."
The A9 is being described as the "first" electric highway, so presumably there will be plans to do something similar on other major roads. References are also made made regarding pilot schemes that will help accelerate the adoption of ULEVs in the public sector. That includes fleets of cars and vans by the 2020s, and buses by the 2030s.
Despite the launch of its own stand-alone plans, Sturgeon has noted that the future of plans like this are linked to the success and failure of the greater UK government.
"We recognise that many of the key fiscal levers still rest with the UK Government and we note their 2040 commitment. 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."
Presumably that situation might change if this long-talked about second independence referendum goes through.
Naturally petrol and diesel cars will still exist after 2032, and presumably people will still be able to buy them second-hand. Still Scotland hopes that by that point the majority of cars will be fully electric or some sort of hybrid, and by investing in the infrastructure it'll make people more confident about purchasing an electric vehicle next time their machine conks out. [Gov.Scot via Engadget]