£4.1 million in grant funding for Clean Air Zones is now accessible to support the licensed taxi industry in Bradford with the operational expenses associated with fully electric hackney carriages or private hire vehicles. To be eligible for the grant, applicants can opt for either purchasing or entering into a long-term lease (a minimum of 2 years at the time the grant agreement is signed and returned).

In the Bradford district, there are currently 200,000 electric vehicle movements per month, and these grants aim to facilitate the transition of the Bradford taxi trade towards fully electric vehicles.

The Bradford taxi trade has been notably proactive in upgrading vehicles to meet Clean Air Zone standards. With grants already distributed, it boasts the cleanest fleet in the country, as 99% of the 4,800 licensed taxis and private hire vehicles adhere to the Bradford Clean Air Zone standard.

A spokesperson for Bradford Council said; “The Council know that there is an appetite for fully electric taxi vehicles in Bradford district and we want to support this, a recent trade survey in Bradford district showed that more than two-thirds (67.6%) of the respondents are thinking about driving a fully electric Hackney Carriage or private hire vehicle.

“Owners of electric vehicles can see savings in fuel costs as well as lower servicing and maintenance costs. These are on top of the driver health benefits of in-vehicle pollution reduction, respiratory health improvements and also a reduction in noise.”

The application process is now active for proprietors of licensed vehicles in Bradford. The grant for non-wheelchair accessible vehicles will be increased from £6,000 over 2 years to £10,000 over 2 years, aligning it with the grants for hackney carriages and wheelchair-accessible private hire vehicles. Proprietors who have already upgraded to other compliant vehicle types, such as petrol/electric hybrids, can apply for a top-up grant if opting for fully electric vehicles. Grant allocations will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said; “We recognise that there is a desire from the taxi trade to switch to fully electric vehicles. We want to further support the taxi trade by offering up to £10,000 per vehicle in grant funding to assist proprietors with the running costs of a fully electric Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle. This is the highest grant of this type in the UK.”

Individuals uncertain about their eligibility for grants or exemptions are encouraged to contact the Clean Air Zone team at 01274 435533, available Monday to Thursday from 8:30 am to 5 pm and Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.