New electric car charging points for taxis in the City of Wolverhampton are also to be made accessible to the public.

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City of Wolverhampton Council was handed £478,000 government funding in March to help fulfil a long term plan to grow the number of electric taxis in the city.

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles' (OLEV) has since confirmed the electric charging network can also be made available for public use.

The funding means work can now start in the city on building the infrastructure to facilitate electric vehicles as they become more readily available over the next decade.

An initial 24 charging points will be installed over the next 3 years, with the aid of match funding from a private sector partner.

A report going to the council's Cabinet on Wednesday (13 September) recommends management of the project is put in the hands of a specialist private partner, who would be responsible for building, operating and marketing the network as well as providing 24/7 service, maintenance and repair.

The OLEV funding comes at a time when the Government has announced its plan to phase out petrol and diesel cars by 2040.

The widespread introduction of electric cars in the city would have significant environmental benefits such as a reduction in vehicles' exhaust emissions to help improve local air quality, reduced carbon emissions, and a reduction in traffic noise.

Cabinet Member for City Environment, Councillor Steve Evans, said: "We are working closely with the taxi drivers in the city on this project and we are delighted OLEV has allowed us to broaden the scheme out for public use.

"Electric vehicles bring many benefits. They improve air quality and public health, make the city more attractive, support the economy of the Midlands, and support innovation and transformation, as well as help reduce carbon emissions.

"The idea of bringing on board a private sector partner also means we don't anticipate any need to use council funds."

  • released: Thursday 7 September, 2017