General News

City awarded nearly £470,000 for electric taxi network

Gary Hart February 11, 2019

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (Olev) has awarded Brighton & Hove, £468,000 to introduce electric taxi hubs and rapid charging facilities.

THE council’s bid was awarded in full and will pay for 75% of the scheme to provide a network of charging facilities for taxis across the city. The remaining 25% will be paid for through a concession agreement, with a portion of the charge coming back to the council.

Taxis will benefit from four rapid charging electric vehicle hubs in the city. Each hub will have three rapid charging stations and will be for taxi use. The infrastructure is designed to encourage taxi operators to choose electric vehicles.

Cllr Gill Mitchell

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the city’s environment, transport & sustainability committee, said: “This money will support local companies who want to introduce electric vehicles to their fleet by ensuring they have the infrastructure to operate.

“It’s part of our aim, in partnership not only with taxi drivers, but also with public transport operators, businesses, residents and visitors to support and encourage the move  towards zero emissions and improved air quality for all who live, work and visit the city.”

Our licensing team have played an important part in talking to the taxi trade and worked with transport officers on the bid.

In a council survey of taxi and private hire drivers and companies, 81% of those responding said that their cars currently use diesel but almost a third said they would consider changing to an electric vehicle in the next one to two years and 43% said they had seen an electric vehicle they would like to buy but would not do so until there were more places to charge. The cost of charging an electric vehicle would be much cheaper than conventional fuel.

Sixty-two per cent said that dedicated taxi charging points were ‘essential’ and almost half (47%) said they would be likely to charge their vehicle at a public car park with shops or a café which fits in with our strategy to install rapid charging hubs with nearby facilities. Almost 92% said they were likely to charge their vehicles at home off shift, meaning they would start the day with a full charge, so providing a rapid charge facility mid shift would be an ideal solution for them.

The Department for Transport has also announced grants of more than £4 million for investment in zero emission buses in Brighton & Hove.