64 businesses in Bristol are set to receive a free electric vehicle (EV) loan thanks to a Â£3m grant from Highways England.
The council is planning to use this grant to create an EV Centre for Excellence with a new fleet of EVs.
The centre will provide advice to businesses who are considering converting their vehicle fleets to electric, and it will also give businesses and organisations the option to loan one of 64 electric vehicles for up to two-months.
The grant will also be used to fund five new EV charge point hubs across the city – four public sites suited to commercial vehicles and one for taxis.
The centre will be set up as part of an initial-two year pilot.
Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said: ‘We are dedicated to cleaning up Bristolâ€™s air pollution in the fastest time possible and creating a healthier city. I am delighted we have been able to secure this funding from Highways England, which will enable us to provide the support businesses and organisations need to start making the transition over to cleaner vehicles.
‘It is vital we all work together as a city to reduce pollution and having an EV Centre of Excellence will allow us to provide confidence and experience across the city through expert advice and free vehicle loans. By removing some of the barriers and financial risks for businesses and organisations, we can help Bristol to emerge from the pandemic in a more inclusive and sustainable way.
‘We must look at causes of pollution across the board, and as well as encouraging a shift to electric vehicles, we are also working hard to improve walking, cycling and public transport journeys in and around Bristol.’
Cllr Steve Pearce, the cabinet member for waste, commercialisation and regulatory services, added: ‘Giving businesses that chance to â€˜try before they buyâ€™ will help remove some uncertainty around important investment decisions in a currently challenging business environment.’
Photo Credit – Bristol City Council