The Cardiff City Region (CCR) Regional Transport Authority are set to place an order for FIFTY electric Nissan Dynamo taxis to allow cabbies in the area to ‘try before they buy’.
In May 2020 Welsh Government (WG) awarded the Region £1.296m from its Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Transformation Fund to deliver initiatives intended to assist WG to transform the network to ULEV and help reach their targets of zero emissions from buses and taxis by 2028. The award constituted the highest award made in Wales, following a bid made by Merthyr Council in February 2020 on behalf of the CCR.
As part of that funding a ‘try before you buy’ scheme for taxi drivers to encourage them to transition to 100%, London compliant, wheelchair accessible vehicles was created.
Orders are currently being placed for 50 Nissan Dynamo taxis to allow taxi drivers / operators the opportunity to try before they buy for one month per driver.
The scheme will run over a 3 year period. The intention is to purchase 34 of these taxis before the end of March 2021, with a further 10 vehicles being supplied in early April. 6 of these vehicles will be purchased for use in Denbighshire and Pembrokeshire, and the other 44, to be kept within the CCR. It is expected that the scheme will be operational late June / early July.
Cardiff Council are also considering a Lease Hire Scheme, funded by the WG Clean Air Fund, and which could potentially expand to the Region longer term. Both of these programmes will closely align.
In recognition of the fact that transitioning to a ULEV vehicle is a major decision, and one that for many operators may have more questions than answers, an initial taxi webinar is currently being prepared with an expected delivery date of 11 March 2021. The first webinar is intended to educate and inform on a number of matters including available incentives and financing options, tax and insurance implications, range and reliability concerns, charging considerations, and maintenance provision. The aim is to provide all the necessary information to enable taxi drivers and operators to make informed choices in respect of transitioning to 100% electric vehicles.
112 sites have been identified and costed to deliver public use charging infrastructure throughout the region, including locations such as on-street, public car parks and transport hubs. A bid has been submitted to the WG ULEV fund to deliver this capability in the 2021/22 financial year, and further locations are also being considered over and above those already identified by Local Authorities.
15 sites have also been identified and costed to deliver a bus use charging infrastructure. Similarly, a bid has been submitted to WG to fund their delivery in 2021/22. The results of both bids are expected late March 2021.
Huw David, Chair of the CCR Transport Authority, said: “I am delighted with the excellent progress we are making on these initiatives. We have a real opportunity here for the CCR to lead the UK, to be an exemplar region in both the deployment of EV infrastructure, and in the subsequent take up of ULEVs. We have the ambition, the plans, the right networks and collaborative working practices, and the ability to deliver at pace and at scale.
“The delivery of this programme will help us realise our vision for the future of transport, sustain real behavioural change and put the region on a pathway to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, with taxis and buses accelerated much earlier in line with the Welsh Government’s 2028 target.”