THE FIRST electric hybrid taxi has hit the road in Stratford.
Stratford District Council has licensed the Hackney carriage as part of the authority’s commitment to tackle climate change – having declared a Climate Emergency last summer – and the need for cleaner and greener vehicles.
The six passenger seater is a low emissions vehicle, and drives in full electric mode all the time, but is recharged by a three cylinder petrol engine.
The benefits include reduced fuel costs and charging points for phones and wi-fi, and an air pollution sensor. It also features a retracted integrated ramp which allows wheelchairs passengers to face forward.
It can run 70 miles on electric power only and can be fast charged in two hours.
As well as the government providing a subsidy of £7,500 for electric and hybrid vehicles, the district council will also be looking to review its policy to assist taxi drivers and offer a reduced fee for drivers who want to buy an electric or hybrid vehicle.
As well as the usual licence plates, the vehicle will also display a low emission vehicle sticker to let passengers know the type of vehicle they can travel in.
District regulatory spokeswoman Coun Anne Parry said: “Supporting a shift towards cleaner and greener transport is vital as part of the Climate Emergency and everyone needs to do their bit when it comes to keeping our air clean. It’s important the district council tries to influence the areas in which it is responsible for and encouraging local taxi operators to make their fleets more environmentally-friendly is a step in the right direction.
“This is a first for Stratford district, but I do hope that this is the first of many. There are obviously financial implications for the operators in the acquisition of these new vehicles, but with reduced running costs and a move towards a cleaner and greener environment I hope they can see it as a worthwhile investment for the future.”