Taxi drivers in York are being offered £3,000 towards the price of a low emission taxi as well as half-price taxi licensing as the City of York Council looks to reduce air pollution.
The flagship scheme, which is being supported by Vantage Motor Group’s York dealership, aims to increase the numbers of energy-efficient taxis and minicabs in the area.
To qualify for the grant, drivers must be registered to work in York and choose a hybrid or electric car that emits under 100g/km CO2.
Councillor Dave Merrett, City of York Council’s cabinet member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said: “We are determined to address the traffic-related air quality problems we have in York, and this incentive is an innovative step forward.
"We need to move as quickly as possible to introduce different, less polluting vehicle technologies and taxis are key group given their frequency in the city."
Four local taxi drivers have so far taken up the offer, all purchasing hybrid Prius cars from Vantage’s Toyota dealership in York.
The cars will be a regular sight at what is the UK’s first ever ‘green’ taxi rank, reserved purely for hybrid vehicles.
Darren Binge, sales manager at Vantage Motor Group’s York dealership, said: “We are proud to be the first dealership in York, and indeed the country, to be involved in what is a UK first low-emission taxi scheme.
"Hopefully other councils will now follow in York’s footsteps to help the UK catch up with other countries that already promote eco-taxis.”