£4.1 million of Clean Air Zone grant funding has been made available for the Bradford licenced taxi trade to assist with the running costs of a fully-electric taxis, Bradford Metropolitan Council said in a statement.

Applicants can take out a long-term lease (minimum 2-year lease) to be eligible for the grant for operating Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicles.

There are currently 200,000 electric vehicle movements per month in Bradford district, these grants will support the Bradford taxi trade change to fully electric vehicles.

The Bradford taxi trade has been extremely proactive in upgrading vehicles to Clean Air Zone standards, the local authority said. Thanks to grants already issued it is the cleanest fleet in the country with 99% of the 4,800 strong licensed taxi and private hire trade meeting the Bradford CAZ standard.

We know that there is an appetite for fully electric taxi vehicles in Bradford district and we want to support this, a recent trade survey in Bradford district showed that more than two-thirds (67.6%) of the respondents are thinking about driving a fully electric Hackney Carriage or private hire vehicle.

Owners of electric vehicles can see savings in fuel costs as well as lower servicing and maintenance costs. These are on top of the driver health benefits of in-vehicle pollution reduction, respiratory health improvements and also a reduction in noise.

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The grant will be increased for non-wheelchair accessible vehicles from £6,000 over 2 years up to £10,000 over 2 years which brings it into line with the Hackney Carriage and Wheelchair Accessible Private Hire Vehicle EV grants.

Proprietors who have already upgraded to other compliant vehicle types (such as petrol/electric hybrid) can apply for a top-up grant if they choose to go fully electric. The grant funding will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “We recognise that there is a desire from the taxi trade to switch to fully electric vehicles. We want to further support the taxi trade by offering up to £10,000 per vehicle in grant funding to assist proprietors with the running costs of a fully electric Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle. This is the highest grant of this type in the UK.”