Image credit: LEVC
City Hall official remains disappointed by “TfL’s stubbornness” to NOT extend zero-emission taxi age limits in bid to incentivise take up of cleaner taxis.
Since Transport for London (TfL) brought in new taxi licensing requirements in January 2018, nearly 3,000 electric taxis are working in the capital. All newly registered taxis must now be able to drive a mandatory zero emissions range of at least 30 miles to operate within London, and will be granted a 15-year working age limit.
According to a survey conducted by TaxiPoint earlier this year, just one in ten cabbies want to remain in their current diesel vehicle, but over 55% of drivers yet to make the change say they are unlikely to go electric in the next 5 years. The three biggest concerns holding cabbies back are the initial cost of the taxi (78.5%), the stability of the taxi industry (70.8%) and the current charging network (62%).
In September, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, Caroline Pidgeon AM, asked the London Mayor to consider extending the age limits of zero-emission taxis to improve take-up.
However, the London Mayor Sadiq Khan, rejected the idea by saying: “In Transport for London’s (TfL’s) recent consultation on changing the age limits for taxis, the question of extending the current 15-year age limit for zero emission capable (ZEC) taxis was raised by respondents.
“In the consultation report published in July, TfL stated that a higher age limit for ZEC or newly converted taxis was not proposed and that 15 years is a reasonable age limit for these high mileage vehicles.
“Maintaining a reasonable age limit helps ensure that we are able to benefit from vehicle improvements such as safety features and emissions performance as they develop.
“TfL are encouraging the decommissioning of older taxis via a £42 million enhanced delicensing scheme, as well as encouraging the uptake of ZEC taxis with a grant. In addition another ZEC taxi model, the full electric Dynamo taxi has just come on to the market, which will bring more choice for drivers.”
In response to the Mayor, Caroline Pidgeon AM said: “The take up of zero emission capable and electric taxis does obviously depend on a number of factors, such as price of electric taxis and the number of electric charging points and their reliability.
“However, one step to further encourage the take up of electric taxis would be for TfL showing a bit of flexibility on extending age limits for these vehicles.
“At a time when we need to be doing everything possible to move away from diesel the Mayor and TfL’s stubbornness on this issue is disappointing.”