I’ll give all taxi drivers interest free loans to buy EV taxis, says London Mayoral candidate Bailey

Image credit: @MMogardo

Conservative London Mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey is set to offer all of the capital’s cabbies an interest-free loan to buy an electric black cab should he take charge in London.

According to The Sun, it is also claimed that Bailey would ensure City Hall would fund 10% towards greener vehicles currently produced by manufacturers LEVC and Nissan Dynamo. There was also a promise to install more electric charge points to improve the current network.

Since 2018, London’s licensed taxis have invested nearly £200million into 3,500 zero-emission vehicles helping clean up the capital’s poor air quality as requested by the Mayor of London.

However uncertainty surrounding future access to key roads, the initial cost of electric vehicles and concerns over the electric charge point network has slowed uptake.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also pushed work-levels down to an unsustainable level which may slow future investment unless a targeted support package is unveiled.

In a tweet put out today, Shaun Bailey wrote: “Cabbies can’t buy new diesel black cabs — they have to buy expensive electric cabs.

“But Sadiq Khan won’t help them make the switch.

“So I will. As Mayor, I’ll give every cabbie an interest-free loan to buy an electric cab.”

The idea put forward could be seen as similar to that of the Low Carbon Hackney Cab Loan which was set up in Scotland. 

Loans were made available from Energy Saving Trust, funded by Transport Scotland (an agency of the Scottish Government). For ultra-low emission hackney cabs like the new TX Electric Taxi, Energy Saving Trust provided interest-free loans up to £120,000 to replace conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) hackney cabs regardless of age. The scheme ended in Spring 2019.

Sadiq Khan, the current Mayor of London, ruled out the idea of leasing taxis via public resources, suggesting it could give Transport for London an unfair advantageous position, over direct competition.

In October 2019, Khan said: “Leasing cabs at a reduced price could put Transport for London (TfL) in direct competition with taxi rental companies and any financial advantage granted by TfL through public resources on a selective basis is likely to be restricted under State Aid rules.

“However, TfL has encouraged registered owners of black taxis to delicense their older, more polluting vehicles and upgrade to zero emission capable models.”

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