Harrogate-based Vantage Motor Group’s York dealership, whose headquarters are in Harrogate, is supporting City of York Council with the launch of the UK’s first low emission taxi incentive designed to reduce air pollution in the historic city.
The flagship scheme aims to increase the numbers of energy-efficient taxis and minicabs in the area by offering drivers £3,000 towards the price of a Low Emission Taxi as well as half-price taxi licensing.
Four taxi drivers have so far taken up the offer, all purchasing hybrid Prius cars from Vantage’s Toyota dealership in York. The cars will be a regular sight at what is the UK’s first ever ‘green’ taxi rank, reserved purely for hybrid vehicles.
Darren Binge, Sales Manager at Vantage Motor Group’s York dealership, said:
We are proud to be the first dealership in York and indeed the country to be involved in what is a UK first low-emission taxi scheme. Toyota is leading the way in the hybrid and electrical vehicle market and demand is continuing to grow as the technology advances. Hopefully other councils will now follow in York’s footsteps to help the UK catch up with other countries that already promote eco-taxis.
To qualify for the grant, drivers must be registered to work in York and choose a hybrid or electric car that emits under 100g/km CO2.
The strategy aims to reduce harmful air pollution in York city centre, where diesel taxis spend large amounts of time. By encouraging the switch to hybrid or electric vehicles, taxis can not only be much cleaner but benefit from the cheaper running costs.
Councillor Dave Merrett, City of York Council’s cabinet member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said:
We are determined to address the traffic-related air quality problems we have in York, and this incentive is an innovative step forward. We need to move as quickly as possible to introduce different, less polluting vehicle technologies and taxis are key group given their frequency in the city.
Vantage Motor Group has recently celebrated its 10th anniversary by extending its ‘Vantage’ brands’ portfolio with the arrival of the Lexus and Kia marques following the acquisition of four dealerships in the West Midlands, as well as developing a new site in Scarborough. The acquisitions will see annual group turnover double to £125 million.