Eight cities have received a huge boost in their bid to win part of a £20 million fund to increase the number of plug-in taxis.
The shortlist of eight potential winning schemes will each receive a government-backed study into providing more environmentally-friendly travel opportunities in their area.
The studies will gather vital information into how local authorities could use the money to reduce the upfront cost of purpose-built taxis and install charging infrastructure for taxi and private hire use.
The Government will announce the winning schemes in April next year.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “Plug-in taxis are cheaper to run, better for the environment and an example of Britain leading the way in an innovative industry. That is why government is investing £500 million in low emission vehicles over the next five years to make them an accessible and affordable choice for all.
“These cities have shown they are commitment to adopting greener technology and the government is backing their ambition by showing the benefits a share of £20 million of funding could deliver.”
The eight feasibility studies, each backed by £30,000 of government funding, will be independently carried out by the Energy Saving Trust (EST).
Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said: “We’re really looking forward to working alongside government in taking this pioneering scheme forward and witnessing the huge benefits it will bring to businesses.
“Our experience in this area gives us every confidence that organisations as diverse as licensing authorities, car manufacturers, district network operators and charge-point installers can become leading players in rolling out ultra-low emission taxis and private hire vehicles right across the country.”
Local authorities who are not shortlisted are still able to submit bids for a share of the £20 million fund, but will have to cover the cost of their own feasibility study.
The eight shortlisted bids who will each receive a feasibility study are:
- Birmingham City Council
- Cambridge City Council
- Coventry City Council
- Dundee City Council
- Nottingham City Council
- Oxford City Council
- Sheffield City Council
- West Yorkshire Combined Authority