By: The Gateway Team On: May 01, 2017 In: Uncategorised Comments: 0

The Business Secretary and Transport Minister announced this month that it will be welcoming a new £325m electric taxi factory in the UK.

The Business Secretary, Greg Clark, and Transport Minister, John Hayes, have said that the new factory will create 1,000 jobs in the Midlands; which is extremely welcome news for everyone in the Midlands.

London Taxi Company (LTC) factory in Coventry, when finished, will have the capacity to assemble more than 20,000 vehicles per year.

LTC’s owner, who’s also the owner of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, plans to invest £325m into building a plant that will include a new state-of-the-art research, development and assembly facility at Ansty Park, Coventry, and be able to develop the new TX5 model (take a look at our Facebook post on the new model) and other hybrid technology vehicles.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has said it will fully support the new build with a £16.1m investment from the Regional Growth Fund.

“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,” said Greg Clark, BEIS Secretary.

“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,” he added.

Our government has said it is committed to improving the country’s air quality and creating a low carbon economy, which is already worth over £46 billion.

Simultaneously, the Department for Transport (DoT) announced it will invest a further £64m as efforts are being made to promote the use of electric taxis across the country. The government are keen to move the majority of drivers to electric cars, which we saw earlier this month when car tax sky rocketed alongside insurance – a double whammy. Authorities have had their feet on the “clean air” accelerator since London had higher pollution levels than the nortoriously smoggy Beijing in January and threats later came from some of the world’s top science lawyers about the lack of effort they had made over the years. Readings showed that air in certain locations in the capital were worse than Beijing, hitting a massive 197 micrograms per cubic metre for particulate matter on the Air Quality Index. Pollution in the Chinese city was seven points lower than the Big Smoke, which is still deemed as considerably ‘unhealthy.’

The £64m will support 2 schemes:

  • £50m for a Plug-in Taxi Grant programme. With the hope of giving taxi drivers up to £7,500 off the price of a new vehicle and saving them £2,800 a year in fuel costs.
  • £14m of investment will deliver new dedicated ‘chargepoints’ for electric taxis in 10 council areas.

The £64m, which is part of a £290 million investment, was announced in the Autumn Statement with the hope of supporting electric vehicle purchases, low emission buses and taxis, and alternative fuels.

The £14m given to fund ‘chargepoints’  for taxis is going to all 10 cities that bid for funding in a Taxi Infrastructure competition:

  • 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)

London MP’s are keen to get the ball rolling as fast as possible, considering there is a staggering 23,000 diesel black cabs with a further 15,000 black cabs operating across the country.

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