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Coventry launches 'Go Electric Taxi' scheme

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Coventry launches 'Go Electric Taxi' scheme 6th September 2018

Coventry Council has partnered with LEVC to shift towards low emission taxi fleet.

The city council announced plans to accelerate shift towards low emission taxi fleet with the launch of a new support scheme for an electric taxi fleet for the city.

The initiative will see taxi drivers in the city being offered both extended test drives and a £2,500 incentive package for the first electric taxi orders, free electric charging during the trial, and zero commission fares on taxi app bookings.

In addition, the council has secured funding from the Office of Low Emission Vehicles and Defra's Air Quality Fund, as well as the companies involved, to deploy 39 rapid charge points across the city, the first six of which will be unveiled today (05/09/2018).

According to Business Green: “The incentive package provides Hackney Carriage owners in Coventry with a 12-day loan to try out LEVC's TX Electric Taxi, a plug-in hybrid which can travel up to 80 miles in zero emission mode and is designed to save drivers up to £400 a month in fuel costs.

“The first 60 drivers to switch to the car will also benefit from a "significant contribution" towards their insurance costs, as well as a waiver of several licensing fees, that combined is valued at around £2,500. The scheme has been funded by grants from the Office of Low Emission Vehicles and the government's Joint Air Quality Unit.”

Councillor Kamran Caan, the Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Sport, said the aim of the scheme was to accelerate the shift towards fully electric fleets.

"We are committed to cutting air pollution in Coventry because we know that this will bring health benefits to people particularly vulnerable residents with pre-existing health conditions," he said in a statement. "Electric vehicles are the future both nationally and globally. I hope that Hackney cab drivers will take the opportunity to try out the loan scheme. The vehicles are built locally - and the numbers of charging points are increasing all of the time."

Transport Minister Jesse Norman also welcomed the initiative as a major part of the government's air quality and clean tech plans. "Britain's black cabs are iconic around the world," he said. "That is why the government is supporting this initiative with £1.2m, helping Coventry to champion these new electric models. The government is committed to improving the country's air quality and creating a low carbon economy, which is already worth billions. Low emission vehicles will be a key part of that transition, showing that we can meet our climate change obligations and also promote economic growth."

Chris Gubbey, CEO of LEVC, said the initiative further underlined the company's commitment to the city following its £325m investment in its Coventry factory, which now employs around 800 people and is on track to employ around 1,500 people as production ramps up.

"Coventry has always been the home of the black cab and this new scheme will ensure that Coventry's taxi sector has one of the most modern, customer-centric fleets in the UK," he said. "These extended trials will give drivers a chance to get comfortable with our proven EV technology and see how much the vehicle delights passengers."

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