Three Staffordshire councils have come together to install charging facilities in local authority car parks to encourage local taxis and private hire vehicles to switch to EVs.
Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Stafford Borough Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council partnered to secure funding of more than £750,000 from the Government’s Low Emission Taxi Infrastructure Scheme, which will result in thirty 50kW rapid chargers being installed across 15 car parks.
They include sites in Kidsgrove, Stoke, Longton, Newcastle, Hanley, Stafford, Silverdale and Stone – all in central locations and which offer 24-hour access for drivers.
Swarco Smart Charging will supply, install and maintain the infrastructure which includes contactless payment.
While some of them will be open for public use, at least half will be reserved for taxis and private hire vehicles who will also benefit from reduced tariffs.
The network and usage data will be constantly monitored and reviewed so that changes can be made in line with the growing demand from the electric taxi and private hire trade.
Justin Meyer, managing director of Swarco Smart Charging said, “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.
“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.”
Councillor Carl Edwards, Cabinet Member for Environment and Housing at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said, “With the new facilities across the city, we are hoping that our licensed taxi drivers will be able to reap the benefits of driving cleaner vehicles, while being confident they can recharge whenever they’re out and about.”