CAMBRIDGE taxi drivers are being invited to find out the benefits of using less polluting vehicles, at a launch event for the city’s first rapid electric vehicle charging points for taxis, on Thursday 4 October at Adam and Eve Car Park.
The event marks the completion of the first phase of a £600,000 project by Cambridge City Council and Greater Cambridge Partnership to install more than 20 rapid chargers for taxis in Cambridge by 2020, with the aim of encouraging more of the city’s taxi fleet to switch to less polluting electric vehicles.
In phase one of the project, four new rapid charging points have been installed for taxis – two at Adam and Eve car park off East Road, and two at Arbury Court car park. Two further charging points have also been installed at Castle Hill car park and are due to be made operational soon.
The rapid chargers, which can provide 80% charge to an electric taxi in just 30 minutes, have been installed by the city council using funds granted following a successful £426,000 bid to the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), along with additional contributions of £100,000 each from the city council and Greater Cambridge Partnership.
On Thursday 4 October the project team, together with industry suppliers eVolt Ltd and Electric Blue, will be on hand to answer questions and provide demonstrations of the new charging points.
Manufacturers of custom built electric taxis, Nissan Dynamo and LEVC, will also be demonstrating their vehicles, with a free rapid charge available for owners of electric taxis.
The rapid charging points form part of the city’s emerging Air Quality Action Plan, which will set out priorities for improving areas of poor air quality and maintaining areas of good air quality over the next five years, including by increasing the number of electric taxis operating in the city.
Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Environment and City Centre, said: “We are committed to making it easy and beneficial for taxi drivers in Cambridge to make the switch to electric vehicles.
“Increasing the number of convenient rapid charging points around the city is a key part of our plans. But we have also made changes to taxi licensing regulations and are providing incentives for taxi operators to encourage the shift from diesel vehicles to low or zero-emission alternatives.”
Cllr Ian Bates, Transport Portfolio Holder on the Greater Cambridge Partnership Executive Board, said: “We’re delighted to help fund the new charging points to provide necessary infrastructure to support the transition to more sustainable travel.
“This is part of our City Access project to support the development of a world class transport system that makes it easy to get into, out of and around Cambridge in ways that enhance the environment and retain the beauty of the city.”