£6m will be spent installing 300 rapid charge points and 46 fast charge points for ultra-low emission taxis in 17 local authorities, including in Greater Manchester, Brighton and Hove, Leicester and the north east.
The money will come from the Department for Transport, with officials estimating that more than 800 ultra-low emission black cabs and more than 3,000 ultra-low emission private hire vehicles will benefit from the new charge points, which they believe will encourage a shift towards cleaner vehicles in the industry.
Roads Minister Jesse Norman announced the fund today (February 5) at the Smart Transport conference.
He said: ‘The government wants all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040. Getting the right infrastructure and investment in place is a crucial part of this.
‘Today’s funding will support almost 4000 ultra-low low emission vehicles across the country. It is a further sign that the UK is making real progress in the transition to greener transport.’
Richard Harrington, Automotive Minister, added: ‘These new charge points for greener taxis will help accelerate a cleaner environment for people across the UK. This will also point the way for a better, healthier future for us all as part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy which builds on the government’s long-standing partnership with the UK automotive sector.’
£14m was previously awarded in March 2018, which supported 389 rapid and 143 fast charge points to be installed.
The Local Government Association welcomed the fund with transport spokesperson Martin Tett saying: ‘This funding for green taxi charging points is good news to help councils continue to improve air quality for their communities and reduce air pollution which is a major public health concern.
‘Councils have already introduced several measures to tackle air pollution, such as encouraging the use of electric vehicles with recharging points, promoting cycling, investing in cleaner buses, managing borough-wide air pollution monitoring networks, and pioneering the concept of low-emission zones.’
Reducing emissions produced by taxis has been at the forefront of many local authorities clean air plans.
Last week Southampton published details of their Clean Air Zone, which proposes a revision of taxi licensing conditions to remove the most polluting vehicles, expanding the existing low emission taxi scheme to support more operators, and offering a ‘try before you buy scheme’ for operators to experience the benefits of an electric taxi for up to 3 months.
Leeds city council has previously said they are considering offering taxi and private-hire drivers incentives of up to £3,000 to switch to electric models as well as possible loans of up to £10,000 for vehicles that meet the requirements of its proposed Clean Air Zone, which received a green light from central government last month.
London-licensed taxis are exempt from London’s ULEZ, due to come into effect in April. They are subject to a 15-year age limit and new emissions standards have already been introduced for them. However, from 1 January 2018, all newly licensed taxis in the capital must be capable of producing zero emissions.