WQ90758 (e) Tabled on 25/01/2024

What plans does the Minister have to encourage more electric vehicle usage for the public transport sector such as buses and taxis?

Answered by Deputy Minister for Climate Change | Answered on 06/02/2024

We are investing in and supporting moves to invest in new green zero emission vehicles for use on the local bus services across Wales. Plans for the decarbonisation of the service bus fleet by 2035 are now nearing completion with an outline business to be completed by the end of this financial year.

Fully electric buses are now in daily service in Cardiff and Newport, and we have grant funded fleets of new electric buses in west and north Wales for use on the Welsh Government funded TrawsCymru network. These deployments in Wales mean we are broadly in line with other areas of the UK, in terms of percentage of the service bus fleet having been decarbonised.

We have consulted on proposals for a Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles (Wales) Bill. In October 2023, we published a summary of consultation responses and made an Oral Statement on the Bill. We recognise there are challenges for the taxi and private hire vehicle trade to transition to zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) including: the costs, anxiety about vehicle range and the availability of charging infrastructure. Wales’ Taxi and PHV fleet must transition in line with the UK car market. To encourage the transition, we provided funding towards 44 ZEVs used for a “try before you buy” scheme. The scheme has recently ended and we are awaiting an evaluation report from Cardiff Capital Region.  Through discussions with local authorities, we understand the number of licensed ZEVs has increased, we await DfT annual publication of the data in the coming months.