The Business Secretary Greg Clark and Transport Minister John Hayes welcomed the opening of a new £325 million electric taxi factory today (22 March) that will create 1,000 jobs in the Midlands.
The London Taxi Company factory in Coventry will have the capacity to assemble more than 20,000 vehicles a year.
Built with a £325 million investment from LTC’s owner, Geely, the plant will include a new state-of-the-art research, development and assembly facility at Ansty Park, Coventry, to develop the new TX5 model, a zero emissions taxi, and other hybrid technology vehicles.
It has been supported by £16.1 million from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, through the Regional Growth Fund, which was awarded in 2015.
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:
Our iconic black cabs are famous across the world. The London Taxi Company’s impressive new factory and R&D facility showcases the innovation that makes the UK a world leader in the development of new automotive technologies.
Through our ambitious Industrial Strategy, we are committed to building on our strengths and taking advantage of the opportunities the new low carbon economy provides.
The government is committed to improving the country’s air quality and creating a low carbon economy, which is already worth over £46 billion.
Today, the Department for Transport is announcing a further £64 million of investment to promote the use of electric taxis.
This money will support 2 schemes:
- A £50 million Plug-in Taxi Grant programme. This will give taxi drivers up to £7,500 off the price of a new vehicle. Taxi drivers who switch to the new electric cabs could also save around £2,800 in fuel costs a year.
- £14 million of investment will deliver new dedicated chargepoints for electric taxis in 10 council areas.
Transport Minister John Hayes said:
This government is committed to improving air quality and reducing pollution in towns and cities, which is essential for people’s health and the environment.
This is also great news for the economy as we invest in cutting edge technology and the next generation of transport and engineering professionals by creating thousands of new high-skilled jobs.
The £50 million PITG programme funding is part of the £290 million announced in the Autumn Statement to support electric vehicles, low emission buses and taxis, and alternative fuels.
The introduction of electric taxis could transform air quality in our cities, especially in London, where there are around 23,000 diesel black cabs with a further 15,000 operating across the country.
The £14 million provided by the Department for Transport to fund chargepoint projects for taxis is going to all 10 cities that bid for funding in its recent Taxi Infrastructure competition. These include:
- Birmingham (£2.9 million)
- Coventry (£1.2 million)
- London (£5.2 million)
- Nottingham (£700,000)
- Dundee (£515,000)
- The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (£1.98 million)
- Oxford (£370,000)
- Cambridge (£426,000)
- Wolverhampton (£478,000)
- Slough (£157,000)
These projects are expected to deliver around 400 rapid and 150 fast chargepoints which will enable the take-up of around 23,000 ULEV taxis nationally including supporting existing plug in private hire vehicles.