London’s famous Black Cabs are to go green after their manufacturer opened a new £300 million facility in Coventry, with the government simultaneously confirming a £64 million pledge for new EV infrastructure.
The London Taxi Company, owned by Geely, has opened the new research, development and assembly facility in Ansty Park, Coventry, to develop its new TX5 model and other hybrid technology vehicles.
It is expected to churn out around 20,000 vehicles each year, and around 1,000 jobs will be created by the investment.
The facility has been supported by a £16.1 million investment from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) regional growth fund, and Greg Clark paid special mention to the department’s commitment to “taking advantage of the opportunities the new low carbon economy provides”.
At the same time the Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed a £64 million package to incentivise the purchase of electric taxis and EV charging infrastructure.
A total of £50 million has been allocated towards a new plug-in taxi grant which will subsidise taxi drivers wishing to purchase an electric taxi for up to £7,500 off the cost of a new vehicle.
Meanwhile £14 million has been pledged to deliver chargepoints for electric taxis in 10 council areas with the intent of delivering 400 rapid and 150 fast chargers.
Birmingham, Coventry, London, Nottingham, Dundee, The West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Oxford, Cambridge, Wolverhampton and Slough councils will receive financial support, of which London will be the biggest recipient.
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.”