The London Mayor has announced that the 9,000 electric taxi target by the end of the year is ‘no longer relevant’.
The minimum 9,000 Zero Emissions Capable (ZEC) taxi marker was seen as the goal for officials at City Hall, when the first electric taxi entered the market in January 2018.
Two years on, over 3,000 drivers have invested more than £180million to make the move to the greener vehicles.
Since the launch of the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) TX electric taxi, cabbies have been making a significant contribution to improving the air quality in the capital and other UK cities.
According to LEVC, 30,000 tonnes of CO2 has been prevented from entering the atmosphere – the same as 1,785 return flights from London to Melbourne.
A further pure electric taxi option, the Nissan Dynamo, has recently been introduced to the travelling public.
It is however, extremely unlikely sales will reach 9,000 by the end of 2020.
In response to a question put forward by Florence Eshalomi AM, the London Mayor blamed the previous administration for setting the 9,000 target. He later labelled the target ‘no longer relevant’ since Transport for London (TfL) reduced the age limits on older diesel taxis.
The reduction in age limits, dropping to twelve years from the original fifteen, has caused residual values of the London taxi fleet to drop by an estimated £50million.
Florence Eshalomi, a Labour London Assembly Member, asked the London Mayor whether he expected to meet his target of 9,000 ZEC taxis in London by the end of 2020.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, responded to the written question on 14 February, saying: “The target of 9,000 Zero Emissions Capable (ZEC) taxis by 2020 was set by the previous administration to reduce emissions from taxis.
“It is no longer relevant because TfL has consulted on and is implementing changes to the age limit for Euro 3, 4 and 5 diesel taxis.
“I am delighted there are now two ZEC taxi models following the launch of the new all-electric Dynamo Taxi in October. As of 6 November 2019, TfL had licensed 3,215 ZEC taxis and I am determined to help more black cab drivers make the switch. This includes providing rapid charge points, delicensing payments of up to £10,000 and supporting a £7,500 grant towards the purchase of a new ZEC taxi.”