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Over 80% of UK cabbies wanting move to ZEC taxi cannot afford the planned transition due to pandemic

With the help of our readers, TaxiPoint have analysed the impact of COVID-19 on the industry. Over 600 taxi and private hire drivers from all corners of the UK have helped us paint the most comprehensive picture to date by taking part in our survey.

The aim of our UK wide survey was to ask taxi and private hire drivers to share their experiences of the coronavirus pandemic, including the level of support received, work patterns and plans for the future. In this edition we look at the growing shift to electric vehicle (EV) taxis in more detail.

Firstly, let’s take a look at the current state of play. Of the 639 taxi and private hire drivers we canvassed, 76.8% of drivers own their vehicles with the rest currently renting. Looking solely at those with taxi licences, the split remains similar at 75.3%.

Let’s keep looking at those with taxi licences. Of those surveyed, 18.1% have made the move to Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) taxis. Of those vehicles, over 80% of drivers either own or rent a LEVC TX in cities that include London, Edinburgh,

Glasgow and Liverpool.

So how many drivers across the UK are looking to make the move to ZEC taxis? Of the taxi drivers surveyed still driving a combustion engine, just over three in five are eager to switch to a cleaner taxi. However, the financial impact of the pandemic may hinder the green revolution.

Disappointingly 81.4% of drivers wanting to move to a ZEC vehicle say they cannot financially plan for the transition at the moment. Of the remaining drivers who have plans afoot to switch, 4.6% of cabbies aim to make the move in the next 12 months.

Nearly 40% of surveyed drivers say they have no intention of moving to a ZEC vehicle. The average age of the taxi vehicles driven by those cabbies still unsure about ZEC cabs stands at 7 years old. It is also worth noting that 29.4% of these cabbies are currently renting or own cabs ten years old or older. Some big decisions therefore lie ahead for these drivers.

Whilst talking about electric taxis, now would be a great time to look at the chargepoint network and how it is rated by those driving ZEC vehicles and how it is perceived by those that are driving diesel or petrol cabs.

According to cabbies who own or rent an electric cab, a huge 64.8% rate the charging network in their area as either poor or very poor. 24.2% of ZEC cabbies rate the networks as average and just 10% of cabbies rate the chargepoint network in their area as good or very good.

So how does that tally up with the perception from drivers yet to experience ZEC taxis? Well it does differ, but not in a positive direction. Four in five cabbies yet to make the switch see the network as poor or very poor, and just 3.6% of cabbies perceive the network to be good or very good.

So, what can we take from the results? Quite simply, if the shift to ZEC is to continue, it may need a kickstart stimulus which addresses financially viable options for cabbies and improving the EV charging network throughout the UK.


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