The world’s first purpose built electric black cab, the TX is the first zero-emission capable taxi to join Oxford’s licenced Hackney carriage fleet. Previously, Oxford’s Hackney Carriage fleet has consisted of 100 percent of diesel vehicles – with 51 per cent being older than 15 years, the six oldest vehicles being 19 years old, and over half of the fleet of a Euro standard 3 and lower.
Earlier this year, Oxford City Council announced new emission standards and licensing criteria for Hackney Carriage Vehicles between 2020 and 2025. The new standards will see the adoption of a phased approach to zero-emission capable vehicles, with drivers only able to get a licence in 2025 if they have a zero-emission capable cab.
Oxford City Council will be providing support to the first 10 adopters of zero emission capable (ULEV) Hackney Carriage vehicles that are licensed by the City Council. For the first 10 ULEV taxi owners – including the first zero emission capable Hackney carriage vehicle – the city council will waive vehicle licence fees and certificate of compliance test fees incurred up to and ending on 31st March 2024. These fees will be covered by grant funding and by the City Council and has a value of up to £3000 per vehicle. The City Council will also be working in partnership with the owner of the first zero emission capable Hackney Carriage on how to support trade during the transition to an electric Oxford taxi fleet. Last week, the City Council announced it will be working with a partner to offer a ‘Trial before you Buy’ programme for Hackney Carriage Vehicle drivers in Oxford as part of the £41m Energy Superhub Oxford trial. The City Council are also working closely with licensed trade to install £500,000 of electric vehicle charging points for the exclusive use of hackney carriage and private hire vehicles. Oxford’s first electric Hackney Carriage has been manufactured by London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) and is capable of at least 80 miles of zero emissions driving on battery power, and produces less than 50g/km of CO2 emissions. The taxi will be serviced by Oxford Direct Services, who are an approved authorised service dealer for the TX taxis by LEVC through qualified technicians certified by LEVC. Earlier this year, Oxford City Council, and Oxfordshire County Council published updated proposals for a Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) in Oxford city centre. The aim of the ZEZ is to tackle Oxford’s toxic air pollution and protect the health of everyone who lives in, works in and visits the city. It is also expected that the ZEZ will improve air pollution levels across Oxfordshire because the buses and taxis that serve Oxford also serve towns and villages across the county. Jo Colwell, Oxford City Council's Environmental Sustainability Manager, said: “Oxford’s Black Cab drivers are part of the city’s lifeblood. Working with cabbies to reduce the number of polluting taxis to zero by 2025 is central to the council’s plan to improve everyone’s air quality. I’ve been delighted by the number of local cabbies who want to do their bit to clean our dirty air and I’m thrilled to ride in the city’s first electric Hackney carriage. “Mr Bajwa is investing in the health of his passengers, the city, and of course himself, and he’s making it easier for drivers to go green. The council has been working hard to give a leg-up to cabbies who want to adopt this exciting new technology, most recently bringing in funding for charging points for their exclusive use, electric taxi servicing on drivers’ doorsteps, and a Try before you Buy scheme. We’re excited to see this package of measures, and our Zero Emission Zone, bring into being a completely zero emission capable Black Cab fleet.” Waqar Mahmood, Sales Manager at London Electric Vehicle Company, said: “LEVC Birmingham want to continue to support all cities with their Clean Air Zone projects as more people are beginning to move away from conventional internal combustion engine vehicles, LEVC Birmingham are leading this transition for the Hackney Carriage Drivers and will help cities like Oxford improve Air Quality.” Members of the public will be able to hail Oxford’s first zero emission capable taxi from anywhere in Oxford.
Image: Mark Twyman