According to the Climate Change Committee (CCC), transport is the highest greenhouse gas emitting sector in the UK. Taxis and hire cars are a key area of concern due to the amount of time they spend on the road, as they make a larger contribution to emissions compared to many other vehicles. Therefore, taxi drivers could consider transitioning to Electric Vehicles (EVs) due to the significant positive impact it will have on the environment. As the sale of all petrol and diesel cars could potentially end by 2030 in the UK, in accordance with the European Climate Deal, it may be time to think about making the change.
A study conducted in Stockholm clearly outlines benefits of taxi’s transitioning to EVs for both taxi operators and the environment. For example, the study found that the total cost of ownership is less for EVs than Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles (ICEVs) due to their lower operational costs. As taxi’s drive heavily in densely populated areas, they could also make a significant contribution to pollution reduction and improving air quality. Time spent charging e-taxis can be minimised by planning it into quieter time periods and breaks, especially with additional charging points and milage between charges increasing. Taking this into account, the profitability of e-taxis can be higher than that of ICE taxis.
Furthermore, FREE NOW, the ride-hailing app who operate across over 100 European cities, have announced that all of its UK taxis will be electric by 2024. Currently, 80% of e-taxis in London operate on FREE NOW and last year they become the first platform to facilitate electric only booking options. This decision was made after a survey of London business leaders revealed 9 out of 10 saw sustainability as a priority. By making the transition now, e-taxi drivers can gain an advantage with environmentally conscious customers. FREE NOW’s Green Pledge involves investing over £20 million to support drivers in making the switch to EVs to provide more environmentally friendly travel, making the transition easier than ever before.
FREE NOW are also setting an example for sustainable action by:
- Offsetting remaining emissions through the planting of trees and preservation of forests
- Sharing data with authorities to enable better infrastructure
- Investing £10million in green travel incentives and loyalty programmes
- Increasing charge point accessibility by partnering with CHARGE NOW
As time progresses more organisations are likely to follow FREENOWs lead as sustainability becomes more important socially, economically and legally.
As an added incentive, the government are offering a Plug in Taxi Grant (PiTG). This is only available for e-taxis considered to be purpose built Ultra Low Emission Taxis (ULET). The grant offers a 20% discount on the price of a newly purchased e-taxi up to £7,500 for a Category 1 PiTG, or up to £3,000 for a Category 2 PiTG. Category 1 refers to e-taxis with a range of 70 miles or more and Category 2 refers to e-taxis with a range of 10 to 69 miles. This grant won’t be available forever; is now the time to make the change before ICEVs become a thing of the past? Contact your local council to find out what incentives they are offering you to make the switch, such as the DEFRA air quality grant programme. This scheme provides funding to some local authorities to reduce air pollution through a variety of initiatives including cleaner transport and uptake of e-taxis.
There are many incentives for switching to an e-taxi as the industry evolves, what will you decide?
Click here to access the grant requirements and application form!
If you have any questions about taxi insurance or insuring your e-taxi, contact us today or call 0333 200 0071« Back to all news