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TAXI FUEL COSTS: How are diesel, petrol and electric comparing in the taxi industry?

Fuel costs are spiralling, and experts are warning that even bigger spikes are set to emerge in the coming weeks and months. What does this mean to the average taxi driver?

In February, at the start of the pump price crisis, TaxiPoint analysed the impact felt by taxi drivers by comparing the cost of diesel against that of electric taxi fuel costs. In this edition we look at how those costs have increased over a four-month period and what the spike in price means for cabbies across the UK.

We are looking at two of the UK’s most popular cabs; the diesel TX4 and the electric LEVC TX.

Taxi drivers all work in different ways, so we’ve modelled a few different scenarios and will explain the workings out as we go. Some drivers will work the LEVC cab completely off the electric charge, some a mix of electric and petrol, and there might even be a few mavericks out there who solely use the petrol range extender.

Let’s start with some of the vital facts...

The diesel LTC TX4 taxi manages 33.2 miles per gallon (mpg) at best. The LEVC TX running solely off petrol will manage 36.7mpg. To travel 150 miles in the TX4 you’ll need 4.52 gallons of fuel and in the TX (without the use of electricity) you’ll need 4.09 gallons of petrol.

In February, fuel prices stood at £1.50 per litre when filling up from the black pump, and £1.45 per litre from the green pump. Despite a 5p fuel duty tax cut that has now leapt further to an eye-watering £1.68 for petrol and £1.81 for diesel. When we come to review July prices next week, that price is set to rise even further.

Based on these stats and prices, the TX4 uses 20.55 litres to travel 150 miles per shift now costing £37.20 a go. That is a whopping rise of £6.38 per shift since February 2022.

The TX uses 18.58 litres over the same distance costing £31.21 per shift. That’s a £4.99 daily difference in diesel and petrol alone, without even bringing electric into the equation. A saving equating to £1,438 over 40,000 miles.

Now let’s bring the electricity into the mix...

Since huge energy price rises hit, it now costs on average around 28p per kWh to charge from home. Some will find better deals, some will be on worse tariffs, but this is a good ball-park figure to work from. The LEVC TX has a 31kWh battery with approximately 28kWh usable. That would mean a home charge costs £7.84 per full charge. Using a public rapid-chargepoint costs more, currently on average £9 per full charge.

With these figures we can now work out the cost per mile for both the TX and TX4. As a LEVC TX owner myself, I know first-hand the electric range can fluctuate. It mainly depends on the temperature, but also other factors such as driving style and where you’re driving (i.e. fast motorway speeds) can impact the range too. That said, a middle of the road average of 55-miles per full charge is a conservative estimate.

With all this in mind we can now work out what it costs per mile for pure electric driving (both on home charge pricing and on the street), running on the petrol range-extender and on the TX4 diesel engine.

The table further down breaks down five scenarios based on a 150-mile daily shift, working 5-days a week, 28-days in a month, and 48-weeks worked over the year.

What can we learn? As you would expect, there are big savings to be had from the LEVC TX, but with the rising cost of electric these cabbies haven’t dodged the energy price spikes either.

Cabbies charging at home just once per shift could be saving around £2,300 per year on fuel costs compared to their diesel driving colleagues. Over the five-year traditional lease period, a driver could see savings amounting to over £11,500.

For drivers who also use the public charging network during a break in their shift, they can expect even greater savings. Annual savings of nearly £3,000 are calculated.

Over the last four-month period diesel cab drivers have seen their fuel bills rise by around £130 per month. That means a further £1,500 out of pocket over the course of a year. For LEVC TX drivers who charge at home and then run petrol, the costs have risen too by a similar £127 per month.

Interestingly where costs are rising most quickly is for drivers that use public chargepoints. A cabbie wishing to use pure electric throughout their 150-mile shift have seen their bill rocket by £159 per month.

So, in summary, if you’re a full-time or high-mileage driver, electric fuel still seems to be the way to go both in the short and long-term.


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