Taxi drivers will be able to charge their electric vehicles in less than hour, as two shared rapid charging point sites go live in Oxford.
A new rapid electric charging point on Keble Road and the existing rapid electric charging points at Manzil Way Gardens are now open for shared use for both members of the public and electric taxi drivers.
The two electric vehicle charging point sites will feature bays dedicated to only electric taxis and emergency vehicles, as well as bays which will temporarily be open for use by the general public.
In total three bays– one at Keble Road, and two at Manzil Way - will be made available for the public, and three bays (two at Manzil Way and one at Keble Road) will be reserved for electric taxi drivers.
Chargers are owned and operated by EB Charging Ltd and can be used at a public charging rate of £0.34 per kWh. Oxford licensed taxis will be able to charge their vehicle at a cost that is below average market rates, this is to help encourage the transition to electric vehicles.
Rapid chargers allow users to fully charge an electric vehicle in well under an hour, and are critical for high mileage users like electric taxi drivers.
In addition to the current sites at Keble Road and Manzil Way, two more shared sites at Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre and Headington Car Park are expected to go live this autumn.
A charging site fully restricted to electric taxi use only is also expected to go live in October in Old Greyfriars Street - next to the taxi rank behind the Westgate Centre.
This site will not be available to public users.
A further two chargers will be installed close to Oxford train station in late autumn.
The charging point locations have been selected to ensure that electric taxi drivers are never more than five miles away from a charging solution, and will be easily accessible from the major artery roads into the city.
The installation work is being funded by a £373,000 grant from the Office for Zero Emission vehicles (OZEV), as well as a match funding contribution from the Council and EB Charging Ltd, and delivered in Partnership with Oxfordshire County Council.
Once installed, the eight charging units are capable of delivering close to 800 half hour charging sessions throughout each day across the 16 charging bays.
Oxford is one of only a handful of UK cities offering dedicated taxi charging provision to their local trades, allowing the trades to access to rapid vehicle charging at a lower than average cost.
Under the Zero Emission Zone Pilot, the Councils have agreed emissions requirements for Hackney Carriage vehicles, which will be implemented through the Council’s licensing powers.
Under this agreement, Hackney Carriage electric taxis licensed in Oxford will have to phase to zero-emission vehicles, with drivers able to get a licence in 2025 if they have a zero-emission cab.
In order to support the electric taxi trade with vehicle electrification, the Council has a range of measures and support including:
Financial support for licensing ultra-low emission Hackney Carriages and Private Hire vehicles.
Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, said: “As we move towards a Zero Carbon Oxford, we need to ensure EV charging meets the needs of our busy lives. That means that we need to be able to charge quickly. The launch of these two shared rapid EV charging sites for taxis and the public will mean that anybody can charge their vehicle in less than an hour.”
Alex Calnan, CEO of EB Charging Ltd, said: “We’ve been working closely with Oxford City Council to support their work towards a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable transport system across the city. These new rapid chargers primarily for taxis are great addition to the existing charger provision, and a major step in increasing electric vehicle uptake and use as the city implements its ambitious Zero Emission Zone plans.
"Making some chargers available to the public as well should give more private drivers the confidence to make the switch to electric vehicles too.”