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Mayor of London visits electric taxi manufacturers LEVC to highlight green and economic recovery

Image credit: LEVC

The Mayor of London today visited the manufacturers of the iconic electric black taxi to highlight the importance of a strong green and economic recovery.

Joined on the visit at the London Electric Vehicle Company’s (LEVC) state-of-the-art factory was Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands. Khan detailed his commitment to building bridges between London and the rest of the country by showcasing how London can help both the national pandemic recovery and the levelling up agenda.

London’s ongoing investment in electric vehicles is aiming to tackle well publicised issues around air pollution and climate change. The Mayor has set a target of decarbonising the transport network and achieving a zero carbon London by 2030.

LEVC has been a vital partner for London, developing and producing the capital’s first Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) black cab, with over 4,400 of LEVC’s electric black taxis now on London’s streets. One third of all black cabs in London are now Zero Emission Capable.

The Mayor announced his commitment to working with the Government, boroughs, chargepoint operators, energy providers and other key stakeholders to make sure London gets the chargepoints it needs to support the transition to zero emission transport. Today’s visit also marks the start of his 2030 Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Strategy, due to be published in full later this year, that includes a key commitment to unlocking land owned by the Greater London Authority Group and the boroughs for EV charging.

During his trip to Coventry, the Mayor also visited the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) control centre at Capita, just ten days before the expansion of the ULEZ - a zone operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in which vehicles need to meet the strict emissions standards or their drivers must pay a daily charge to drive within the zone.

On 25 October the ULEZ will be expanding up to, but not including, the North and South Circular Road. As part of the Mayor’s wide-ranging programme aiming to improve London’s air quality, the Low Emission Zone standards were tightened to align with the ULEZ and encourage operators of the most polluting heavy diesel vehicles driving in the capital to switch to cleaner vehicles.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I'm committed to building bridges between London and the rest of our country and showcasing how the capital can help the national recovery and the levelling up agenda. Together, Capita’s TfL contracts and the state-of-the-art London Electric Vehicle Company in Coventry employ 2,200 people in the West Midlands and North of England, showing clearly how London relies on the skills of other regions and that investment in our capital can help create quality green jobs across the country.”

“Tackling the climate crisis and growing our economy across the UK is about regions working together and investing in new technologies. London is ready and willing to play its part in ensuring a strong and green national recovery from this terrible pandemic.”

Joerg Hofmann, LEVC CEO, said: “I am pleased to host the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, here at LEVC in Coventry today as the capital continues its journey to becoming net zero by 2030. I am also pleased to host Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands.

“With our range of revolutionary electrically driven vehicles - the TX black taxi and VN5 light commercial vehicle - LEVC is providing the optimum solution for drivers and businesses looking to transition to green mobility while charging infrastructure improves in London and across the UK. Increasing the number of charge-points in the run up to 2030 will be crucial in ensuring businesses can operate emissions free. I look forward to working with the Mayor in supporting London’s journey to becoming a zero carbon city.”

Steve McNamara, General Secretary at Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA), said: “The London Taxi Trade is justly proud of our continuing efforts to work with the Mayor in cleaning up London’s air. Around one third of all London’s iconic black cabs are now Zero Emission capable and our fleet is transitioning at speed.

“We welcome the further commitment from Mayor Sadiq Khan to increase the rapid charging infrastructure by freeing up land owned by the GLA, this will help us achieve our target of a 90 per cent EV fleet within 5 years, guaranteeing Londoners and visitors alike the cleanest taxi service in the world.”

The Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said: “Today’s visit by the Mayor of London shows how vital the West Midlands is to the wider UK economy, as well as how we’re a key player in the fight against climate change.

“Not only is the phenomenal Coventry-based LEVC helping both our region and the capital tackle the climate emergency with their state-of-the-art electric taxis, but just down the road we also have Capita using their West Midlands base to control London’s Ultra-low Emission Zone.

“The work these two companies are doing with London is testament to how levelling up the West Midlands will be critical to the UK’s future success.”


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