Current chargepoint provisions DO meet the needs of taxi drivers and other motorists driving electric vehicles in the capital says the Mayor of London.
There are currently 84 dedicated rapid taxi charging points in the capital serving nearly 4,000 Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) cabs.
Despite the Mayor’s comments, taxi drivers are facing daily battles to charge their vehicles according to a new group looking to clamp down on minicabs using designated taxi chargepoints.
In a recent email sent to all taxi and private hire drivers in the capital, a Transport for London (TfL) spokesperson said: “Private hire vehicles must never stop or wait in taxi-only charging bays or taxi ranks, or the driver could be subject to a Penalty Charge Notice and potentially licensing action. Taxis must not be left unattended on working taxi ranks.”
According to the cabbies looking to take on minicabs using the vital designated E-Taxi charge points, a new channel to report private hire vehicles and other private cars using the bays has now been established.
Cab drivers in the capital have invested over £240million in new ZEC taxis since the shift away from diesel began in 2018.
Susan Hall, Conservative London Assembly Member, asked the Mayor of London via a written question: “Does London currently have sufficient charging points to meet the needs of cabbies and other drivers driving electric vehicles in the capital?”
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, responded saying: “Data indicates London’s current provision does meet the needs of taxi drivers and other drivers driving electric vehicles in the capital. In the latest report Transport for London (TfL) received from Zap-Map, as of 4 January 2021, London has a total of 6,161 charge point devices (4,437 slow, 2,663 fast and 522 rapid) representing 26 per cent of the UK’s total number of charge points. Of the 311 rapid chargers in London delivered by TfL, 84 of these are dedicated to taxi drivers.
“In 2018, I launched an Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Taskforce which helped bring forward a Delivery Plan for London’s EV infrastructure, published in 2019. In this, TfL analysed rapid charge point usage and found that, from data taken in March 2019, 27 per cent of chargers currently average less than one charge per day. There are also a significant number of chargers that are used very frequently, with 33 per cent averaging five or more charges per day and the most popular chargers being used for up to an average of 17 charges per day (or 10.5 hours of plug-in time). Overall, the network was not saturated at the time of analysis, when TfL had delivered only 178 out of 300 rapid charge points.
“Since then much more charge point delivery has taken place and my officers have produced a dashboard of EV charging points and utilisation across London, accessible to all London Boroughs via the London Data Store. Utilisation is lower than before, which is partly due to lower taxi demand as a result of Covid-related impacts, especially during lockdowns. However, TfL is now doing new work to investigate London’s overall charge point need, given recent changes such as the planned phase out of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles sold in the UK by 2030.”