Wednesday’s Autumn Statement confirmed that the Government will set aside money for both cabbies and electric charge point providers to support the switch over to ultra-low emission taxis. This included a pledge to create a dedicated £150m fund to subsidise the purchase of range extended electric taxis and buses. Although there is more detail is yet to emerge, the move guarantees that cabbies will have access to ring-fenced financial support.
These measures were the lion’s share of a £390m funding boost for the automotive sector, which also included £80m for Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) charging infrastructure. The fact that so much of this new money for electric vehicles has been dedicated to cab drivers is a reminder of the important role that the Government believes the cab trade will play in the transition to ultra-low emission transport. Especially as ring-fencing funding for specific sectors like this is unusual in the UK.
“With a new British built, range extended electric taxi coming to our streets next year, this measure will deliver faster emission reductions from the UK taxi sector. It will also provide further support for the UK manufacturers of commercial vehicles to produce smarter, greener and cheaper to run vehicles,” said Chris Gubbey, CEO of LTC.
“It is a move that is great for the health of our citizens and our economy, and we look forward to working with the Government on the final policy detail,” he added.
The Government has also introduced an enhanced capital grant for charge points which has been described as “a game-changer” by charging infrastructure providers. John Leech, head of automotive at KPMG, speaking to the Financial Times, said: “We can now expect to see the number of electric vehicle charging locations exceeding traditional gasoline refuelling stations by the end of the decade.”
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