The first of 88 chargepoints will go live this week in what is set to be West Yorkshire’s largest electric vehicle rapid-charging network.
The £3m-plus scheme is part of an effort by West Yorkshire Combined Authority to improve the county’s air quality by encouraging the use of electric vehicles.
The combined authority hired the Leeds-based company ENGIE to install, own and operate the new charging points after a successful bid for £2m of funding from the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the partnering local authorities – Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield councils – are also providing a further £1.2m of match funding for the scheme.
Each of the new chargepoints sites, which are free to use until the end of October 2021, will have two bays: one for taxis and private hire vehicles, and another for all other users.
The chargepoints typically take under an hour to provide a full vehicle charge depending on the vehicle.
Cllr Manisha Kaushik, deputy chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, commented: ‘Around 500 diesel taxis and private hire cars are forecast to be converted to hybrid and pure electric vehicles as a result of us rolling out these chargepoints.
‘Plus, the increased availability of rapid chargepoint locations will help counter “range anxiety”, which is currently discouraging people from switching to electric vehicles.’
‘These chargepoints will play a key role in tackling air pollution and creating a greener, cleaner place for people who live and work in West Yorkshire,’ said Nicola Lovett, CEO of ENGIE UK and Ireland.
Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: ‘As part of our Low Emissions Strategy, we want to encourage residents and businesses in Bradford to consider switching to electric vehicles, and one of the best ways to do this is to make it convenient and free for people to access chargepoints.
‘We are determined to increase our commitment to reduce the Council’s carbon footprint while staying at the forefront of new ultra-low emission technology.
‘Encouraging the use of electric cars helps us achieve both and we hope that the additional 20 charging points will make Bradford drivers think about making their next car an electric one.’