Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said action will be taken to phase out the need for petrol and diesel cars and vans in Scotland by 2032.

Outlining the Scottish government’s priorities she said her government would promote the use of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs), adding: “Our aim is for new petrol and diesel cars and vans to be phased out in Scotland by 2032.”

In a document giving more details of its plans the Scottish government said: “We will take the lead in promoting the use of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs), with a target to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032, eight years before the rest of the UK.”

It said it would underline that commitment by setting out plans for the expansion of the charging network; collaborating with industry and academia to find solutions to challenges, such as the high proportion of tenement properties; the extension of the Green Bus Fund; the acceleration of procurement of ULEVs in the public and private sectors; and increasing awareness and uptake of ULEVs by private motorists.

It also committed to establishing an Innovation Fund to invest £60m to deliver wider low carbon energy infrastructure solutions across Scotland, such as electricity battery storage and sustainable heating systems and electric vehicles charging.

It added that it would set up a Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) in one of its cities by the end of next year, and would work with local authorities to introduce LEZs into its four biggest cities by 2020, and to all Air Quality Management Areas by 2023

Following the announcement, RAC roads policy spokesman Nicholas Lyes said: “The Scottish Government’s announcement that it plans to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2032 is admirable, but how quickly this transition can be achieved will depend on the infrastructure being able to facilitate such a mass switch to electric and other alternative fuel solutions.

“It’s worth remembering that the UK Government has said it will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, whereas the Scottish Government appears to be setting itself a target only – albeit an ambitious and commendable one.”