Oxford Council takes delivery of first electric vehicles and funds ’try before you buy’ taxi scheme


Oxford City Council has taken delivery of its first electric vehicles (EVs) as part of Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO), a world-first project showcasing an integrated approach to decarbonising power, heat and transport across the city.


Oxford City Council’s wholly-owned company, ODS, which operates like a social enterprise, has added six new EVs to its current fleet, with a further 27 (including cars, a street sweeper, excavator, and mix of different sized vans) due to be delivered over the next 3-4 months. It aims to electrify 25% of its 330 fleet by 2023.

The project is also funding a ‘Try before you buy’ scheme for Oxford’s Hackney Carriage drivers with Electric Blue, which aims to accelerate the switch to zero emission capable (ULEV) Hackney Carriage vehicles. The scheme enables drivers to trial one of two models – an all-electric Nissan Dynamo or an LEVC (London Electric Vehicle Company) – for a two or four-week period, with the aim of reducing barriers to adoption.


Two electric LEVC taxis are already operating in Oxford, with two more on the road shortly and several drivers making purchasing enquiries. From 2025 drivers will only be able to get a licence if they have a zero-emission capable cab.


Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford, Oxford City Council said: “Oxford is continuing to show leadership in tackling the climate emergency. With this project we’re encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles and move to zero carbon.


“Energy Superhub Oxford gives Oxford strengths that no other city currently has: the world’s most powerful charging network and the world’s largest ever hybrid battery, and as a result we can accelerate our electric vehicle charging infrastructure for businesses and residents.


“It also allows the City Council to provide support on top of what we’re already offering to Hackney Carriage taxi drivers looking to move to electric. I am looking forward to seeing this project accelerate Oxford towards zero.”


Image credit: Oxford City Council

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