Edinburgh has taken a step closer to converting its taxi fleet from diesel to electric as the City Council’s regulatory committee look to discuss ways of encouraging both cab firms, and cabbies to switch across to cleaner technology.
One company, City Cabs, has already taken steps to switch across, by purchasing five electric vehicles and ordering another five, as well as installing two rapid chargers at their headquarters, in the Scottish capital. It is believed that the five electric vehicles, which the company has on the road already, are saving drivers between £5 and £7 per day. October 2018, saw a £3.3m initiative approved to install over 200 charging points across the city by 2023, which will, according to a report, in the Edinburgh Evening News save 1,061 tonnes of CO2 per-annum. In 2015, Edinburgh cabbies received approval to use electric vehicles, it is believed that there could be in excess of 600 electric taxis operating in the area by 2023. Concerns have been raised by Regulatory Services Manager, Andrew Mitchell, who has urged councillors to ensure that a viable infrastructure is in place before electric conversion is forced upon companies and drivers. Other concerns which have been raised are the current range of vehicles available to the industry, as well as the speed of the roll-out, which some has said needs to be measured and sustainable. Some of the incentives which have been discussed, to encourage switching across to electric vehicles are, the removal of license fees for electric vehicles, the introduction of electric-only taxi ranks, and allowing saloon hackney carriage licenses for electric vehicles.