SNP keen on green?

The headlong rush by Governments and Political parties to display as many “green credentials” as possible in their transportation plans has caused one or two embarrassing moments over the last few years. It looks as though the next manifestation of this phenomenon may well be unfolding in Scotland, as one local council looks to get a commercial vehicle insurance quote for vans running on cooking oil!

In its latest manifesto the ruling political party in Scotland, the Scottish National Party (SNP) declared that over the next decade, all public sector vehicles would go “green” i.e. they would run on alternative fuels such as, electricity, bio-diesels or gas. Embarrassingly, a freedom of information request reveals that of the 20,000+ public sector vehicles on the roads in Scotland at the moment, less than 700 have the facility to run on alternative fuel.

To make matters worse over 20 local authorities say they don’t have a single car or van running on alternative fuel, although one council, Moray, report they have one vehicle running on electricity and two running on the aforementioned cooking oil.


Is the Government supporting the scheme with cash?

Not to be deterred from the task of turning Scotland green, last year, the ruling SNP put aside £3.6 million to be used by its Scottish Government Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Support Scheme. This was to help public sector bodies accelerate the change over from conventional vehicles to the new breed of clean, energy efficient motors we see on TV. Working on the assumption that a new van embracing the new technology costs around £40,000 then the scheme will buy just 90 vehicles, leaving a shortfall of… well 20,000!

Is commercial van insurance cheaper on alternative fuelled vehicles?

Neither is there any evidence to suggest that the SNP have looked at the savings or otherwise on commercial van insurance for the new breed of vans or even if, for instance, fleet van insurance is available for vehicles running on cooking oil.

At least they do have a couple of local authorities that appear to be leading the way. Midlothian Council has approaching 100 vehicles capable of running on alternative fuels and the Scottish Borders region can even beat this, they have 98% of their vehicles running on bio-diesels suggesting that they at least have secured a good deal from their van insurance brokers on cover for alternative vehicles.




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