Engie has secured a contract with West Yorkshire Combined Authority to install and operate 88 new electric vehicle (EV) charging points across the region.

The authority commissioned the work after it secured almost £2 million from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

Each charging point will have two charging bays. One will be for taxis and private hire vehicles and the other will be for all other users. Installations will begin in 2019.

Charging points are expected to provide a full charge to an electric vehicle in around 20 to 30 minutes and will be free to use until late October 2021 when the pricing will be defined.

The combined authority and its district partners, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield councils are providing £1.2 million of match funding. Engie will operate the charge points for at least ten years.

Wilfrid Petrie, chief executive of Engie UK and Ireland said: “Engie is committed to improving the lives of people in cities and urban areas by tackling air pollution and we believe the provision of rapid electric vehicle charge points across the West Yorkshire region will help encourage more people to choose a low emission vehicle.

“The provision of green mobility solutions is part of Engie’s wider strategy to combine our capabilities to assist local authorities and other public sector customers with placemaking – working alongside them to shape the future use of their estates and public spaces.

“We have seen real success and tangible improvements in carbon reduction in cities where we have managed green mobility solutions and we are looking forward to seeing this being replicated across West Yorkshire.”

Councillor Kim Groves, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, added: “Improving air quality across West Yorkshire and Leeds City Region while at the same time developing the transport networks vital to supporting inclusive growth is one of the Combined Authority’s key aims and this work will help us achieve that.

“Installing new charging points at these 88 sites, where people can charge their vehicles for free, is designed to encourage the transfer to electric vehicles.

“Making half the bays exclusively for the use of taxis and private hire vehicles could result in up to 500 diesel taxis and private hire vehicles being converted to hybrid and pure electric versions by 2020, which would reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions from taxis by as much as 18 per cent, in line with our target of developing clean energy and environmental resilience for Leeds City Region.”

Engie says it has provided more than 60,000 charge points worldwide and designs, installs, operates and maintains its charge points for public use, businesses and for home installation.

In Yorkshire the company has made energy efficiency improvements to more than 3,000 homes as part of the Better Homes Yorkshire initiative.

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