Michael Matheson MSP praised a university-hosted conference as an “excellent opportunity” to discuss progress towards phasing out the need for new petrol and diesel cars.
The Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity was delivering the keynote address at the Transport Research Institute's fourth Annual Electric Vehicle event.
Scores of delegates from universities, Transport Scotland, local authorities, energy companies, enterprise groups and other organisations attended the conference at Craiglockhart.
Mr Matheson told them the Scottish Government wanted to end the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032 and the event was a good chance to discuss how they were working with partners to achieve this goal.
He added: “Our Switched on Fleets programme is supporting public sector organisations in their ambitions to introduce Ultra Low Emission Vehicles and we are providing interest free loans to businesses and consumers who want to make the switch – the available funding for this has increased to £20 million this year.
“In addition, we are investing £15 million in the Charge Place Scotland network as well as expanding the scope of our Switched on Towns and Cities programme to create at least 20 electric towns or cities across Scotland by 2025.
“We very much welcome Edinburgh City Council’s commitment to intensify the availability of vehicle charging points across the capital city as part of this.”
The Scottish Government-backed event heard a series of presentations analysing policy issues and practice, including an examination of the business case for EV deployment and a Swedish perspective on the issue via Skype.
Delegates from energy companies turned the spotlight on to supply and infrastructure issues, and the afternoon session was given over to academic research.
Edinburgh Napier graduate Mark Heard gave a user’s perspective on using home-generated solar power for electric vehicles, and Professor Tariq Muneer examined the potential impact of electric vehicles on the grid.