MOTORISTS using car clubs in Edinburgh and Glasgow will be able to hire electric cars from a fleet of 50 new green vehicles paid for by the Scottish Government.

Transport Scotland has dedicated £1 million to the development and use of electric vehicles across the car club sector as part of efforts to meet a target for "total decarbonisation" of road transport by 2050.

A total of 20 electric vehicles will be available from City Car Club branches in Edinburgh and Glasgow over the coming months, with smaller car club chains across Scotland sharing another 30 electric cars.

The City Car Club added its first electric vehicle, a Nissan LEAF, six months ago using the government cash and added another two electric cars to its fleet in recent weeks.

To date the Nissan LEAF has made almost 200 trips, totalling more than 4,000 zero-carbon miles.

Club member Des Reid recently set out to challenge misconceptions surrounding the practicality of electric vehicles with a trip in the Nissan LEAF covering 275 miles.

He said: "We instantly noticed that the car is quite amazing to drive. It's so quiet that you can talk in a whisper at motorway speeds.

"In terms of charging and performance, if you stick to main motorway networks you'll have no trouble, although rural Scotland caused a little difficultly."

There are around 80 publicly-available charge posts across Scotland, including on Orkney and Shetland, and 200 in local authority-owned facilities.