More than £1 million awarded to taxi owners for vehicle retrofitting

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The Scottish Government has awarded over £1 million in support to small taxi owners in Glasgow and Edinburgh to help comply with Low Emission Zones.

More than 100 taxis have now been successfully retrofitted with LPG engines. This is in preparation for Scotland’s Low Emission Zones (LEZs) which will be introduced by May 2022.

The Low Emission Zone Retrofit Fund provides financial support to micro-businesses in one of Scotland’s four proposed Low Emission Zones (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Dundee, and Glasgow) to retrofit non-LEZ compliant vehicles with Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) approved solutions, that meet the minimum proposed standards of the Low Emission Zones. Grants of up to £10,000 are available to cover up to 80% of the cost of a retrofit solution.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said:

“I’m pleased that Scottish Government funding is already helping over 100 taxis in our two largest cities to comply with forthcoming Low Emission Zone requirements.

“Low Emission Zones are crucial to protecting public health by improving air quality. They also contribute to our wider climate objectives.

“With every taxi trip potentially eliminating the need for another private vehicle entering the city centre – it’s clear to see why having LEZ compliant taxis is an important and valued part of the sustainable travel mix. Funding will again be available in April 2021 and I encourage any taxi driver who is interested to find out more about the support on offer.”

Taxis are retrofitted with a full engine replacement and receive a Euro 6 category liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) engine or alternatively for some taxi models, a brand-new Euro 6 exhaust. An LPG engine is cheaper to run for taxi drivers, provides a quieter and smoother experience for passengers and provides cleaner air with reduced carbon dioxide emissions, so there are multiple benefits.

The Low Emission Zone Retrofit Fund provides targeted support for small taxi businesses who would otherwise struggle to afford an LEZ compliant, Euro 6 engine vehicle.

Taxi Owner Donald Wilson said: “I would like to thank Transport Scotland for the financial grant and funding that they are providing for the taxi trade.

“My TX4 taxi was retrofitted in early January 2020 and since then, I have had no issues to date and my fuel costs have been reduced by an average of 20%.

“The running and smoothness of my taxi has been fantastic. Customer feedback and comments are very positive, and I am frequently asked if I am driving an electric taxi, and many are pleased to see taxis helping the environment.”

To focus on maintaining accessibility in our towns and cities – retrofitting was prioritised at wheelchair accessible taxis in the first instance.

The funding has been made available via Transport Scotland and the Energy Saving Trust.

The Low Emission Zone Retrofit Fund is intended to reopen in the next financial year, commencing in April 2021, with available funding to be confirmed through the normal spending review process.

To find out more and register your interest in the Low Emission Zone Retrofit Fund please visit: