Incentivising the transition to zero-emission technologies, the Government introduced the Plug-in Taxi Grant (PiTG) as a crucial support scheme for purpose-built zero-emission capable (ZEC) taxis.
However, concerns loom as discussions regarding the future of the grant have not been publicly disclosed since its extension till the financial year 2023/24.
If the grant is not renewed past April 2024, the reverberating impact on the taxi market could be significant. Taxi drivers would be burdened with finding or funding an additional £7,500 to purchase or lease a new electric taxi. This would create a financial hurdle for many drivers who would no longer have access to the grant's assistance.
Furthermore, the absence of the grant would cause an immediate shift in the dynamics of the second-hand market. With new vehicle prices soaring due to the grant's discontinuation, the demand for pre-owned black cabs would surge, subsequently driving up average prices. In a recent report by TAXI Newspaper, experts noted a growing trend in which premium second-hand cabs are currently commanding prices hovering around £40,000.
Interestingly, despite the growing availability of second-hand electric TX models, a steady segment of drivers remain inclined to pay between £25,000 and £27,000 for the remaining Euro VI TX4 taxis.
Industry insiders are closely monitoring developments as the potential cessation of the PiTG scheme would likely reshape the taxi market once more. The grant has been instrumental in bridging the cost gap between traditional internal combustion engine taxis and the new ultra-low emission technologies. Removing this support mechanism could hamper the progress made in transitioning the taxi fleet to a more sustainable future.