The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has said they will install 88 free EV charging points across the region from 2019.
Each charging point will have two charging bays, one for taxis and private hire vehicles and the other for all other users.
In a statement, they have said the charging points will provide a full charge to an electric vehicle in around 20 to 30 minutes and will be free to use until late October 2021.
The Combined Authority and its district partners, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield councils are providing £1.2m of match funding. French firm ENGIE will install, own and operate the charge points for at least 10 years with work expected to get underway soon to identify suitable and convenient charge point locations.
Cllr Kim Groves, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority transport committee said: ‘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%, in line with our target of developing Clean Energy and Environmental Resilience for Leeds City Region.’
Cllr James Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member with responsibility for sustainability and the environment, added: ‘Most residents agree that tackling air pollution in order to protect the health of everyone in Leeds should be a priority.
‘As vehicles are the biggest contributor to outdoor air pollution in the city, everyone that switches to a zero-emission vehicle will be making a real difference to the air we breathe.
‘In our recent consultation, many residents and businesses in Leeds told us that they’d be more likely to switch to a cleaner electric vehicle if there were more places to charge.
‘By installing 30 charge points in and around Leeds within the next year, this scheme will make it easier and more accessible for residents to do their bit.’
Due to air pollution levels in the city, the council were ordered by the Government to implement a Clean Air Zone (CAW), which is expected to come in force in January 2020 with vehicles that don’t meet modern emission standards being charged £50 per day to enter parts of the city centre.