Sadiq Khan was asked to provide taxi drivers with advice on how to best run their electric taxis as fuel costs escalate and competition with lower cost minicabs intensifies.
Before a new stricter emissions policy was introduced, Transport for London (TfL) licensed over 1,000 new private hire vehicles (PHV) and 500 new drivers in just one mammoth week of licensing in the capital.
In comparison, just 2 new taxi driver licences were issued and 38 new black cabs were licensed for the first time in the same week.
The continued boom in minicab licensing has seen minicab numbers rise to 89,779 PHVs.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request made by the London Club Driver’s Club (LCDC) revealed that approximately 1,400 imported petrol and diesel vehicles were licensed as PHVs in the capital in just a TWO month period.
LCDC Chairman, Grant Davis, submitted the question to Transport for London’s FOI request department asking how many petrol and diesel vehicles were imported into the UK from abroad and licensed in November and December before the January 2023 cut off.
The cost of financing an electric LEVC TX can now be upwards of £100,000. That is expected to rise further after this week's interest rate increase of 0.25 percent.
It is argued that PHV drivers are offered a greater choice of much cheaper vehicles which is making competition in the market harder.
Keith Prince, London Assembly Member, asked the Mayor: “Given that new taxis were sold to the taxi trade as being able to run on electricity and save drivers money on fuel, do you have any advice for taxi drivers given the high cost of electricity, the lack of infrastructure and the time taken to find and charge, in order to compete with the thousands of diesel vehicles that have recently been licensed by the private hire industry?”
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, responded: “I’m incredibly proud that over 6,600 zero emission capable (ZEC) taxis have been licensed in London, offering a modern, clean and green service to passengers.
“London now has more than 11,000 publicly accessible electric vehicle charge points, of which 820 are rapid or ultra-rapid. This is a third of the UK’s total and an increase of 170 per cent from 2019.
“In November last year I announced plans to keep London at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution, which included identifying land for 100 new rapid charge points.
“Taxi drivers are able to check locations and availability of electric vehicle charge points using ZapMap.”