Sheffield’s ambitions to have the cleanest air in the country have been boosted with the announcement of 20 rapid charge points for Ultra-Low emission taxis which will help more taxi drivers make the switch to low-pollution vehicles.
A bid to the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) for nearly £500,000 to deliver 20 rapid charge points in and around the city centre from its Ultra-Low Emission Taxi Infrastructure Scheme has been successful, meaning the points will be installed across the city in the coming year.
Rapid chargers are the fastest way to charge an electric vehicle; able to recharge a car to 80 per cent within 20-40 minutes.
Sheffield City Council has announced ambitions for more than 90 per cent of the Hackney Black Cab Taxi fleet to be Ultra Low Emission vehicles by 2021, as well as almost all of the city’s Private Hire Vehicles.
It is calling on further funding from government to deliver pollution-busting Clean Air Zone proposals which brings Sheffield’s air quality within acceptable levels by 2021, including financial support for owners of older and more polluting taxis and other vehicles to upgrade.
Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for transport and development at Sheffield City Council, said: “this is excellent news for Sheffield and enables us to make good progress towards our clean air ambition but even more investment and support is sorely needed.
“I have said all along that the success of the clean air zone is not going to be measured by its income, but by the way it changes people’s behaviour and helps us address our public health goals and carbon targets.
“Having these rapid charge points will encourage more taxi drivers to make the switch to green Ultra-Low emission vehicles and ensure that they don’t pass on costs to their customers.
“But I want to see far more investment for Sheffield and that’s why we’ve submitted an outline business case that enables us to drive home our clean air ambitions.”
The government has awarded more than £6million to support ultra-low emission taxis right across the country, furthering its ambition for a zero emission future.
Announced at the Smart Transport conference, the funding will see almost 300 rapid chargepoints and 46 fast chargepoints installed for ultra-low emission taxis in 17 local authorities, including Sheffield, Greater Manchester, Brighton and Hove, Leicester and the north east.
This announcement marks another milestone in the delivery of the UK’s Road to Zero strategy and the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge which aims to usher in cleaner, greener journeys through UK engineering and technological innovation.
Today’s funding will support almost 4,000 ultra low emission vehicles across the country. It is a further sign that the UK is making real progress in the transition to greener transport.
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.
It is estimated 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, supporting a shift towards cleaner, greener transport.