New electric vehicle charging facilities will be rolled out to car parks in Stafford Borough as part of a scheme to help taxi drivers go green.
Stafford Borough Council, along with Newcastle Under Lyme Borough Council and Stoke on Trent City Council, were successful in securing more than £750,000 from a government fund aimed at supporting taxis and private hire cars to switch to less polluting vehicles.
The initiative will see electric vehicle charging points at several car parks run by Stafford Borough Council. And the council say the public will also be able to use the charging facilities when they go live later this month.
The money from the government’s ‘Low Emission Taxi Infrastructure Scheme,’ will result in thirty rapid chargers being installed across 15 car parks in the three local authority areas. SWARCO Smart Charging, one of the UK’s largest providers of charging facilities, will be supplying, installing, and maintaining the infrastructure as well as operating them.
The sites earmarked in the borough are car parks in Broad Street, Doxey Road, Victoria Park and North Walls in Stafford and Crown Street in Stone. The charge points are 50kW rapid chargers with contactless payment and, while some of them will be open for public use, at least half will be reserved for the taxis and private hire trade.
Councillor Jonathan Price, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, said: “We have made tackling climate change one of our top priorities, but we can’t do this alone - and this is a good example of how we have secured significant financial help from the government to support our taxi and private hire fleets become more environmentally friendly.
“We hope that increasing the availability of EV charge points in our car parks will encourage more of the trade to switch to low emission vehicles by giving them the confidence that they will be able to charge their vehicles easily while out and about.”
He added that the scheme will also benefit other electric vehicle motorists who will have ‘round the clock’ access to the facilities.
The EV charging points in Stafford are likely to be available before the end of June - with a live date in Stone to be announced later in the year.
Justin Meyer, Managing Director of SWARCO Smart Charging is confident that this network will encourage more taxi and private hire firms to seriously consider switching to EVs: “This is a well thought out plan to provide a network of charge points that connects different locations to support drivers’ on their regular routes and fares,” he says.
“We are encouraged by the response of local taxi and private hire operators that can see the impact a dedicated accessible charging infrastructure will have on supporting their future plans.”
Press Release No 5914