The British government has set aside a pot of more than six million pounds, to help set up more than 300 charging points for electric taxis in 17 local authorities. Additionally, the winners of a £14M hydrogen mobility competition were announced.
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The funding pot for the charging stations is part of an effort to “support ultra-low emission taxis right across the country, furthering its ambition for a zero-emission future,” according to the British government.
The measure was first announced at the Smart Transport conference by Jesse Norman, Future of Mobility Minister, who said: “The government wants all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040. Getting the right infrastructure and investment in place is a crucial part of this.”
It is estimated that more than 800 ultra-low emission black cabs and more than 3,000 electric or plug-in hybrid private hire vehicles such as deployed by services like Uber will benefit from the new charge points.
In another boost for the zero-emission vehicle sector, winners of a 14 million pound competition to fund fuel cell vehicle and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure projects have also been announced. The several winners will split the pot that converts to close to 16 million euros. The winning initiatives included five consortiums with partners such as Toyota and also smaller entities, utilities and councils that will deploy a total of 106 FCEVs (73 cars and 33 buses) as well as erect five hydrogen fueling stations.
The biggest winner in the hydrogen competition was a fuel cell bus project, which aims to establish a hydrogen fueling station, as well as put 30 hydrogen-powered buses on the roads in Aberdeen and Liverpool (5 and 25, respectively). They will receive funding of 6.4 million pounds. The locations to see these hydrogen projects in the near future are Middlesbrough, Monmouth, Stockton, Crawley, Belfast and St Helens, as well as of course Aberdeen & Liverpool, who be serviced by the St Helens station.
Update 7 February 2019: In addition to above funding, the British government is providing £48 million (about 55M euros) to 19 municipalities in England and Wales to purchase 263 new electric buses and related infrastructure. Twenty of the buses will run on hydrogen. The new funding round will double the number of electric buses in the UK, according to the government. Transit provider Transport for London (TfL) will receive the largest single grant for 63 new electric buses.
Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.