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RISING COSTS: TfL urged to use part of new funds to cap dedicated taxi chargepoint costs

Updated: Sep 13, 2022

London taxi representatives have asked for all dedicated electric taxi chargepoints to be capped at 40p per kWh to keep costs affordable and the level of green investment high in the capital.

Since 2018 cabbies have invested around £390 million in nearly 6,000 electric black cabs in London. 18-months ago taxi drivers were paying just 25p per kWh to charge their black cabs. Cabbies using bp Pulse contactless Rapid Charge Points (RCP) are now facing costs of 65p per kWh. Subscribers can access the energy for 44p kWh and a registered user 55p per kWh.

There are continued calls for Government to drop VAT on public chargepoints to level the playing field between those that have access to home chargers and those that rely on public chargepoints. Anyone charging at home pays a reduced 5% VAT charge based on domestic use rates. Those charging on public points pay 20%.

Officials from the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) have urged Transport for London (TfL) to help offset the costs using some of the £3.6billion received from a recent Government funding deal.

Steve McNamara, LTDA General Secretary, said in TAXI Newspaper: “Cabbies with electric taxis have been spared the worst of the rising costs of diesel in recent months, but along with the cost of just about everything, the price of on-street rapid charging has been slowly increasing. It has nearly doubled over the last two years. What was 25p per kW only 18 months ago, is now up to 55p per kW, if you are a subscriber, or 65p per kW, if you pay as you go.

“We are now approaching 40% of our fleet being clean and green, with just under 6,000 TXEs now on the road. These vehicles were almost entirely funded by small businesses and individual drivers, to the tune of roughly £390 million. This represents a huge investment in the future of our trade and our great city. These clean, green vehicles are saving hundreds of thousands of tonnes of NOx, particulate matter, and CO2, from entering the air Londoners breathe. Taxi drivers are leading the way in cleaning up London’s air. If you ask me, it’s time we were given a bit more support.

“TfL has just reached a new £3.6 billion funding deal with the Government, with some of that money earmarked for reducing congestion and pollution. With the Mayor’s Taxi Delicensing scheme now closed, there are fewer incentives for cabbies considering making the switch to a ZEC taxi. Without the delicensing payment, the vehicle has become even more expensive for cabbies looking to switch. Now, with charging costs spiralling, the cost savings associated with driving the ZEC taxi will also reduce, making it less appealing to drivers.

“I have written to the Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, asking that she looks at capping the cost of charging at 40p per kw on all Taxi-only dedicated charging points across London. This would help to incentivise more take up of ZEC taxis – speeding up the transition to an all-ZEC fleet. It would also encourage cabbies to top-up mid-shift and operate their vehicles, as cleanly and greenly as possible.”


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