Electric taxi feasibility studies will now take place in Birmingham, Cambridge, Coventry, Dundee, Nottingham, Oxford, Sheffield and West Yorkshire authorities
Feasibility studies into introduction of electric plug-in taxis are to be carried out in eight cities in England and Scotland as part of a 20 million government funding scheme.
The likes of Dundee, Birmingham, Sheffield and Oxford are among the eight bids to have been shortlisted for the 20 million plug-in taxi grant scheme, for which the winners will be announced in April next year.
In the meantime, not-for-profit organisation the Energy Saving Trust (EST) will carry out independent feasibility studies on behalf of each of the shortlisted local authorities, with each study backed by 30,000 government funding.
According to the governments Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), the studies willl gather vital information into how local authorities could use the money to reduce the upfront cost of purpose-built taxis and install charging infrastructure for taxi and private hire use.
Local authorities which have not been shortlisted are also still able to submit bids to the plug-in tax scheme, but will now have to cover the cost of their own feasibility study, OLEV said.
Yesterdays (July 24) announcement forms part OLEVs aim for every car and van in the UK to be zero emissions by 2050.
Announcing the shortlisted bidders, Transport Secretary Andrew Jones, said: Plug-in taxis are cheaper to run, better for the environment and an example of Britain leading the way in an innovative industry. That is why government is investing 500 million in low emission vehicles over the next five years to make them an accessible and affordable choice for all.
These cities have shown they are committed to adopting greener technology and the government is backing their ambition by showing the benefits a share of 20 million of funding could deliver.
Phillip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said: Were really looking forward to working alongside government in taking this pioneering scheme forward and witnessing the huge benefits it will bring to businesses.
Our experience in this area gives us every confidence that organisations as diverse as licensing authorities, car manufacturers, district network operators and charge-point installers can become leading players in rolling out ultra-low emission taxis and private hire vehicles right across the country.
The eight shortlisted bidders each receiving EST feasibility studies are: