SWARCO Smart Charging and Transport North East have gone live with the latest electric vehicle (EV) charging network, consisting of ten rapid charging points across Newcastle, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead, Durham, Northumberland and Sunderland- targeted at the taxi and private hire market.
The network, funded as part of the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles Ultra Low Emissions Taxi Infrastructure Scheme, sees ten new 50kW rapid charging points being installed for use by electric taxis and PHVs operating in the North East.
They have been installed at two locations in Newcastle, two in North Tyneside, and one in South Tyneside (which has two stations). There is also one rapid charger each at sites in Durham, Gateshead, Northumberland and Sunderland.
The chargers, supplied with 100% renewable energy, have been located following extensive research into vehicle dwell times and the most popular pick-up locations.
Out of the ten rapid charging points, eight have been in full operation since July 19th, so far seeing 343 individual charging sessions that have saved a total of four tonnes of CO2. The remaining two sites are likely to come into operation later this year.
SWARCO expect to see a significant uptake in vehicles utilising the system and has commenced a period of engagement with operators and drivers focused on demonstrating the suitability and benefits of EVs for taxi and PHV use, as well as practical tips for getting the most out of your EV.
Alongside the taxi and private hire companies already utilising EV’s, further taxi and private hire companies will now be able to electrify efficiently due to the improved infrastructure in place.
Justin Meyer, Managing Director at SWARCO Smart Charging says the installation will now provide the North East’s taxi and private hire firms an opportunity for a greener future: “The new network will now give taxi and private hire firms across the North East the chance to electrify their fleets safe in the knowledge drivers will have access to charging points whenever they’re running.
“We’re happy to see the network now fully operational and we hope it will bring further confidence to other drivers across the city that converting to electric vehicles is possible now and not a distant dream."