Rapid EV charging network goes live in West Yorkshire

The first in a network of 88 rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across West Yorkshire has been switched on.

Each of the sites, which are free to use until the end of October 2021, will have two bays. One will be exclusively for use by taxis and private hire vehicles, whilst the second will be available to all other users.

The network has been funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and its local authority partners, including Leeds City Council.

Following its successful bid for £2 million funding from the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), the combined authority appointed Engie to install, own and operate the charging stations.

The first of the charge points is located on Vicar Lane in Bradford. New locations will be added every week until the network is completed later this year.

Manisha Kaushik, deputy chair of the combined authority’s transport committee, said around 500 diesel taxis and private hire cars are forecast to be converted to hybrid and pure EVs as a result of these chargers being rolled out.

“Plus, the increased availability of rapid charge point locations will help counter range anxiety, which is currently discouraging people from switching to electric vehicles,” she added.

The chief executive of Engie UK and Ireland, Nicola Lovett, said: “These charge points will play a key role in tackling air pollution and creating a greener, cleaner place for people who live and work in West Yorkshire.

“Providing green mobility solutions is just one part of a wider strategy where we support local authorities and the public in helping shape their environment as we move towards a net-zero carbon world.”