Going ‘green’ could be a game-changer for the region’s taxi and private hire industry

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An event outlining the benefits of switching to electric vehicles (EVs) is being held next week for members of the taxi and private hire industry in the North East.

The workshop-style forum will also update taxi drivers on the expansion of the region’s electric vehicle fast-charging network.

A free event, it is open to all holders of a cab and VTC license in the North-East.

It takes place at the Gateshead International Stadium on Neilson Road off the A184 in Gateshead on Tuesday 12 April from 10.30am-1pm.

Read more: Electric cars: all your charging questions answered

Cenex, the UK’s first established center of excellence for low carbon and fuel cell technologies, is hosting the workshop to highlight the capabilities of electric vehicles and chargers to local traders.

Regional transport body Transport North East (TNE) believes the change could be a game-changer for many in the local taxi and private hire industry.

TNE Managing Director Tobyn Hughes said: “Events like this are key to demonstrating to marketers the propensity for electric car travel and the opportunity we have to increase the number of electric taxis. and other sustainable fuels in the region.

“This event will demonstrate to merchants that the future is electric and help build on the progress we have made so far in installing ten electric vehicle charging stations, eight of which are currently powered and in use, by particular for taxis in the North East. , thanks to funding from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles.

“Replacing vehicles in the existing fleet with greener and more sustainable modes of transport will ultimately bring us closer to achieving the aspirations set out in the North East transport plan and our new emission vehicle policy. zero, both of which address the urgent need to decarbonize the region’s transport sector by 2035.

TNE will give informative talks on the Ultra-Low Emission Taxi Infrastructure program, while attendees will also hear from SWARCO Smart Charging Traffic Technology Group and Cenex on the wide range of electric taxis and private hire vehicles available on the market.

The London Electric Vehicle Company will bring two TX electric taxis for demonstration purposes, allowing traders to experience the vehicles in the electric fleet for themselves.

Given the government’s decision to phase out all petrol/diesel cars and vans by 2030, with hybrid vehicles following from 2035, and the planned introduction of a government clean air zone in Newcastle and Gateshead, the workshop is seen as a timely event to help traders make the switch.

Representatives of SWARCO Smart Charging, which installed and now manages the infrastructure to boost electric travel in the North East, will speak at the event about the extensive network of electric vehicle charging stations available for commercial vehicles in the region and available support to help the taxi industry electrify their fleet.

Carl Christie, Senior Fleet Specialist at Cenex, said: “Electric taxis can play a key role in reducing emissions and poor air quality in city centres, and reducing running costs for the operators.

“This informative workshop will give drivers the confidence to assess the impacts of going electric, help identify preferred charging station locations and highlight support available in the area.

“The North East is moving in the right direction when it comes to decarbonizing transportation, and Cenex is proud to be part of that journey.

Tuesday’s workshop will conclude with a question and answer discussion, with refreshments provided and free parking available on site.

Taxi and private hire companies are required to register their attendance via www.eventbrite.co.uk, prior to arrival.

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