POWER TRIPS

In January 2015, four English cities were awarded significant funds as part of a UK government competition aimed at promoting green vehicle technology.

After successfully bidding for a share of the £40m prize pot, the quartet of Nottingham, Bristol, Milton Keynes and London will each deliver a rollout of technology and infrastructure that will encourage greater take-up of plug-in electric cars by the cities’ road users.

The Go Ultra Low Cities fund is part of a comprehensive £600 million package of measures that by 2020 will include a £400 million investment in low emission buses and taxis, and research and development funding for innovative technology such as lighter vehicles and longer-lasting car batteries.

The schemes planned by the four winning cities include rapid-charging hubs and street lighting columns that will double as charge points. Other local privileges include thousands of EV-designated parking spaces and access to bus lanes in city centres.

Milton Keynes plans to co-brand bus lanes as low emission lanes giving plug-in vehicles the same priority at traffic lights as local buses. And in the East Midlands there are more than 13 miles of bus lanes along key routes around Nottingham and Derby.

As they look to address the dual challenges of improving air quality and reducing congestion on their roads, the winning cities will be encouraged by investments made in the ground transport industry. For example, in London our ComCab service has been trialling zero emission black cabs on the fleet for the last 12 months with a number of plug-in range-extender Metrocab taxis. In 2014 Boris Johnson announced plans that would require all new London black cabs to be zero emission capable from 2018 and we have been leading the way with best practice. This April, taxi drivers are also joining forces with cyclists to call for Boris’s concept to go further, with a Clean Air Zone to phase out the dirtiest vehicles.

We also work with Electric car companies across the UK to provide customers with a chauffeur-driven car service using electric vehicles. Once you have an account cityfleetbusiness.co.uk-open-an-account you can request electric vehicles when booking via our online platform or app by selecting the “Zero Emission” category.

With obvious benefits to business, on time management, economic value and carbon footprint, it’s no surprise to see government, the ground transport industry and paying passengers being of one mind and booking or hailing the low emission plug-in taxi.