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Low carbon transport

Scotland's resources, expertise and ambition make it an attractive location for investments in low carbon transport and cleantech projects. Scotland is creating a sustainable decarbonised transport infrastructure and supply chain that’s on track to meet its net zero emissions target by 2045.

Did you know?

Scotland was the first country in the world to declare the climate change emergency and pass world-leading climate change legislation.

  • £2 billion in public finance

    has been allocated to a new Public Investment Bank to decarbonise Scotland’s economy.

  • World-leading targets

    By 2032, we will phase out the need to buy petrol and diesel cars and vans, with plans to decarbonise Scotland's railways by 2035.

  • £3 billion green opportunity

    Green Investment Portfolio to attract new low carbon investments into Scotland.

The perfect testing environment

With highly populated urban centres, sparsely populated islands and combination of mountainous and coastal terrain, Scotland is an ideal living lab for the development, testing and scale-up of new technology.

We’ve already made good progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector by deploying renewables, and the Scottish Government has now committed to take radical steps to decarbonise transport in Scotland.

Join us as we work to reduce transport emissions. We have opportunities for ambitious companies to locate in Scotland and enjoy strong public sector support.

What Scotland can offer your low carbon business

As we transition to a zero-carbon emissions economy, the focus for Scotland is on creating innovations which will deliver against our sustainable objectives and make a real difference in the areas that matter. We can achieve this by working with strong partners and with the connected and world-leading academic clusters in Scotland. And when you locate in Scotland, you become part of this dynamic business environment.

Scotland is already home to many ambitious low carbon transport projects, and has led the way in demonstrating several zero-emission transport solutions.

Examples of hydrogen transport projects underway in Scotland 

Access the skills and talent you need

Scotland’s academics have the ambition to be world leaders in sustainable development. And our universities and colleges understand their role in developing people that can meet the skillset required for the future.

More about Scotland's people, skills and recruitment 

Benefit from ongoing support

Invest in Scotland and you can take advantage of our close connections to the best academic institutions, both in Scotland and abroad. Your company will benefit from dynamic industry clusters and connected supply chains.

The Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme  opens in a new window aims to support Scotland's transition to a low carbon economy. Through this programme, companies like yours can access a range of support, from expert advice to financial support to assist the development and delivery of private, public and community low carbon projects across the country.

The creation of the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc backed by £60 million investment over the next decade will focus on R&D in sustainable mobility, clean transport and low carbon energy solutions. It has excellent infrastructure, connectivity and space to grow as well as green energy and heat supplied from local sustainable sources. A new Skills Centre of Excellence will be developed on site, creating a talent pipeline with the right skills and a fully equipped environment for businesses to upskill and train staff across the sector.

Cost-efficient location

Large scale renewable energy resources such as wind, wave and tidal are now being linked to storage and markets in the UK and Europe. Scotland some of the highest capacity factors.

Efficient energy storage will help unlock the potential to use Scotland’s abundant natural resource to power our transport requirements.

As such, there are plans to locate hydrogen production close to wind farms, which will use surplus electricity to reduce cost of hydrogen, making your low carbon transport project more cost efficient.

Find the right location for your business 

Scotland's low carbon transport opportunities

As demand for battery cells in the automotive industry outstrips supply, Scotland is looking to develop its supply chain and scale up the production of batteries and battery packs, plus smart tech for battery systems.

We are also investigating sodium-ion as a cheaper and more abundant element to further reduce battery costs and this will create areas of opportunity in Scotland for R&D and manufacturing.

For example, the University of St Andrews – together with other academic and industrial partners in the UK and overseas through the Faraday Institution – is currently working to accelerate the development of sodium-ion battery technology by taking a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating fundamental chemistry right through to scale-up and cell manufacturing.

There is a specific opportunity to develop this supply chain in Scotland, to reduce the UK’s reliance on overseas markets. Supplementary opportunities exist for battery recycling and reuse of batteries for second and third life use.

Explore our green investment projects 


Scotland is fast becoming a leading centre for the development of electric drive trains for heavy duty vehicles. We’re setting up a series of platforms for R&D on different vehicle types including buses, trains, ferries, refuse and emergency vehicles.

This is opening up exciting opportunities for companies to get involved in vehicle design, manufacturing, standardisation, safety and whole systems modelling, linking vehicle deployment with low carbon energy supply and refuelling infrastructure.

Scotland’s heavy populated urban areas and remote rural locations provide an ideal test bed for new electric vehicle development and deployment.

World firsts

Emergency One is a fantastic example of a Scottish manufacturer innovating for a low carbon future by launching the world’s first fully electric fire engine - the E1 EV0.

This all-electric pumping appliance has been designed to protect fire fighters as well as the environment – with improved safety features such as clean cab filtration systems that remove harmful residual particles that can impact health.

Emergency One is the UK’s leading manufacturer of fire, rescue and emergency vehicles and provides the highest extending ladders in the world to the London Fire Service.

The company has been supported by Scottish Enterprise and is poised to target international markets with the new net zero emergency vehicle.

Learn more on the Emergency One website opens in a new window  

Glasgow City Council has commissioned an innovative hydrogen-powered refuse truck which is one of the first of its kind in the world.

Alexander Dennis Ltd has been at the forefront of innovation in zero emission buses, leading the market in the development of double decker battery and hydrogen powered vehicles with specialist international partners.

CAV Forth is a world-leading project which will provide a globally significant demonstration of UK autonomous bus capability along a 14-mile route across the Forth Road Bridge between Fife and Edinburgh. This multi-partner approach will see the autonomous bus service operate on a trunk road network from Fife, across the Forth Road Bridge Public Transport.

Explore our green investment companies 


Scotland’s first hydrogen-­powered train made its debut at the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow.

The ambition to achieve zero-emission railways by 2035 is five years ahead of the rest of the UK.

Our rail opportunity is based on a market of:

  • £48 billion planned and committed investment in rail in the UK
  • £5 billion investment in electrification projects
  • £3 billion for rolling stock replacement in Scotland alone

There are also opportunities for companies to produce diesel alternatives for non-electrified routes, such as independently powered battery and fuel cell electric trains.

In addition to decarbonisation, investment at UK level in ‘mega’ rail infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, provide a generational opportunity for the rail supply chain.

We are working to grow industrial capability in Scotland to develop and outward-looking cluster providing skills, innovation and supply chain capability to support decarbonisation of rail and delivery of projects on time and on budget.

Scotland is leading on rail decarbonisation through the Power of Tomorrow Innovation Train project. Led by Scottish Enterprise and Transport Scotland, the project is engaging with Scottish SMEs and academics to convert a train provided by ScotRail to battery and hydrogen fuel cell electric.

The project is aimed at accelerating development and deployment of battery electric and fuel cell electric powered trains, providing alternatives to diesel for non-electrified lines.

This will build Scotland’s innovation and supply chain expertise related to zero-emission rail.


With strong knowledge and capabilities in hydrogen, yet a currently limited supply chain, Scotland offers plentiful opportunity for international companies active in this field.

There are opportunities for fuel cell development, niche vehicle design and manufacturing, and additional supply chain opportunities include refuelling infrastructure, operation and maintenance, plus hydrogen safety and flow rate meteorology.

You can take advantage of the opportunity to work with Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub opens in a new window to develop a commercial supply of green hydrogen into the North East region or with Hydrogen Accelerator Initiative at the University of St Andrews opens in a new window to develop niche vehicles and optimise drive trains for specific applications.

More about Scotland's hydrogen-powered transport projects 


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Ask our specialists about investment opportunities in Scotland's low carbon transport.