Updated: Oct 3, 2021
Drivers of London electric taxis WILL BE issued RFID cards to put an end to illegally parked private hire vehicles and other cars blocking vital designated rapid chargepoints.
After months of campaigning pushing for the new Rapid Charging Points (RCP) technology to be handed to the taxi trade, exclusive chargepoint access cards are now set to go live in the next 2-3 months.
Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), said Transport for London (TfL) and chargepoint companies are aiming to have the new cards produced and sent out to drivers for around the start of the New Year.
According to sources, two electric taxi RCP providers, BP Pulse and ESB, have agreed to the RFID card technology. Taxi drivers will be asked to subscribe to the companies and only approved taxi drivers will now be able to access designated taxi bays. Contactless payment options will be removed meaning general public and private hire drivers will no longer be able to access the chargepoints.
The news follows the opening of the UK’s first rapid charging hub for fleet vehicles, which included dedicated and protected card enabled access chargepoints for Uber partner-drivers in Mayfair this summer.
In London alone over 4,500 electric taxi drivers have invested over £200million in Zero Emissions Capable (ZEC) vehicles since January 2018. The problems around designated taxi chargepoint access escalated so much that a new channel to report private hire vehicles and other private cars using the bays was established.
Drivers on the social media platform Twitter sent in photos, videos and details to @taxis_e who in turn sent regular reports to TfL.
In uploaded videos taxi drivers were often verbally abused by other drivers incorrectly using the designated bays. The issuing of RFID cards is now seen as a positive move by charging companies and the transport regulator.
More details will be released soon as the taxi RFID scheme is finalised.