top of page

Welsh Government drops 2028 electric taxi target as only 1% of cabbies shift to costly electric cabs

Image credit: Cardiff Capital Region (CCR)

The Welsh Government has abandoned its goal to make all taxis electric by 2028, instead aligning with the overall transition of the car market away from petrol and diesel vehicles.

The decision comes in response to the announcement made by Rishi Sunak last month, delaying the ban on selling new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035. Transport minister Lee Waters explained that Wales could not move faster than the rest of the UK on this issue.

The original 2028 target, outlined in Welsh Labour's election manifesto, faced significant criticism and has now been officially dropped. The move has been met positively by stakeholders and experts in the industry as the cost of electric taxis continue to soar.

Recent statistics revealed that less than 1% of taxis and private hire vehicles in Wales currently have zero-emission engines. Transport for Wales reported that as of April 2022, out of 9,318 taxis, only 82 were electric. This data highlights the challenges faced in achieving the ambitious target set by the Welsh Government.

During a session in the Senedd, Minister Waters addressed concerns surrounding the adoption of electric vehicles in the taxi trade. He acknowledged the financial burden and concerns related to vehicle range and charging infrastructure as significant hurdles.

The minister emphasised that the Welsh Government remains committed to achieving its 2050 net-zero target and stated that the transition to electric vehicles is crucial in meeting that goal. However, he stressed that the pace of implementation should align with the progress in the wider car market and the challenges faced in Wales.

Waters said: "But, I recognise that there are challenges including the cost of buying an electric vehicle, anxiety about vehicle range and the availability of charging infrastructure.

"Wales cannot move faster than the rest of the UK on these issues, but we expect the taxi and private hire vehicle trade to transition to electric vehicles in line with the rest of the car market."

Ministers will have the authority to set a deadline for electric taxis. Nevertheless, Minister Waters clarified that there are no immediate plans to trigger this deadline during the current Senedd term or the foreseeable future. The focus remains on ensuring the availability of adequate charging infrastructure and affordable electric vehicles before accelerating the transition.

Welsh Conservative transport spokeswoman Natasha Asghar criticised the Labour government for failing to deliver on its manifesto pledge. Asghar pointed out the lack of EV charging points in Wales and highlighted the actions taken by the UK government to address the economic impact of the net-zero transition. The Conservative party believes that Labour is either evading responsibility or assigning blame to the UK government for their perceived inaction.

Asghar said: "Labour couldn't deliver their manifesto pledge on transitioning taxis to electric, especially as Wales has some of the fewest EV charging points in the UK.

"But as always they either hide or blame the UK government for their inaction."


Subscribe to our newsletter. Receive all the latest news

Thanks for subscribing!

thumbnail_phonto (1).jpg
bottom of page