Free trade event to help the region’s taxi and private hire sector electrify their fleet

A unique workshop event is being held on 12 April, 10.30am-1pm, at Gateshead International Stadium, for members of the taxi and private hire sector to learn more about the region’s ever-expanding electric vehicle (EV) rapid charging network, and the benefits that making the switch to electric could bring to their businesses.

The event is free to attend and is open to all hackney carriage and private hire license holders in the North East.

Cenex, the UK’s first established Centre for Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies, are hosting the workshop to highlight the capabilities of electric vehicles and chargers to local traders.

Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director at Transport North East, said: “Events like this are instrumental in demonstrating to traders the propensity of electric car travel and the opportunity we have to increase the number of taxis powered by electricity and other sustainable fuels in the region.

“This event will demonstrate to traders that the future is electric and will help to build on the progress we have made so far in installing 10 electric vehicle charging points (8 of which are currently live and in use) especially for taxis across the North East, thanks to funding from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV).

“Swapping existing fleet vehicles for greener, more sustainable modes of transport will ultimately move us closer to achieving the aspirations set out in the North East Transport Plan and our newly published Zero-Emission Vehicle Policy- both of which tackle the urgent need to decarbonise the region’s transport sector by 2035.”

Informative talks will come from Transport North East on the Ultra-Low Emission Taxi Infrastructure Scheme, as well as from SWARCO Smart Charging and Cenex on the wide range of electric taxi and private hire vehicles available on the market.

The London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) will also be bringing two TX electric taxis for demonstration, allowing traders to experience electric fleet vehicles for themselves.

Given the decision of the government to phase out all petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, with hybrid vehicles following from 2035, and the planned introduction of a government Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in Newcastle and Gateshead – the workshop is a timely event to help traders make the switch.

Traffic technology group SWARCO Smart Charging, who have installed and now manage the infrastructure to boost electric travel in the North East, will also be speaking at the event about the extensive EV Chargepoint network available for trade vehicles in the North East and the support available to assist the taxi industry in electrifying 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 reduce running costs for operators.

“This informative workshop will give drivers the confidence to evaluate the impacts of going electric, help to identify preferred chargepoint locations, and highlight the support available across the region.

“The North East is moving in the right direction in decarbonising transport, and Cenex is proud to contribute to that journey.”

The April event follows the successful delivery of a regional Go Ultra Low (GUL) programme from 2018 to March 2021 to encourage the uptake of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) to individuals and businesses in the region.

Justin Meyer, Managing Director at SWARCO Smart Charging, said: “We are committed to supporting the success of the North East Transport Plan and the environmental mission to significantly reduce carbon emissions in the region.

“We know that reliable and easy to use charging technology, positioned in convenient locations for local traders in the region, is absolutely key to supporting the electrification of the network.”

The workshop will finish with a Q&A discussion.

Refreshments are provided and free parking is available onsite.

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

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