AN ELECTRIC taxi will be trialled in Torfaen after the council agreed to make an exception to its licensing policy.
The Welsh Government hopes to decarbonise the entire taxi fleet in Wales by 2028. Three areas across Wales, including the 10 local authorities within the Cardiff Capital Region, will take part in a pilot scheme.
The ‘Try before you buy’ initiative will allow taxi drivers to try a fully electric, wheelchair-accessible vehicle for 30 days free of charge. Free electric charging, insurance, vehicle licensing and breakdown cover funded by the Welsh Government will be provided.
At the end of the trial, drivers will be asked to complete a survey and will be provided with information about schemes available for long-term ownership of zero emission vehicles.
Torfaen council will be provided with one fully electric Nissan Dynamo taxi for drivers to trial for free. The authority’s licensing committee met on Thursday to agree an exception to its licensing policy relating to the requested livery on the taxis.
Councillors approved a deviation from the authority’s policy to ensure the initiative is advertised across the area and to encourage others to be part of the scheme.
Cllr Norma Parrish gave her support to the initiative and said it would be ‘fascinating’ to see how it works.
An application to licence the vehicle in Torfaen is expected to be made by the end of this month. It is expected the scheme will start from December 1.
A council report says: “The pilot is intended to assist Welsh Government in achieving its target of decarbonising the taxi fleet entirely by 2028.
“It is hoped that it will help taxi drivers to realise the financial and environmental benefit of zero-emission vehicles and in turn, contribute to the transition from diesel / petrol vehicles to zero-emission vehicles.”