Electric Taxi Grant Paves the Way for a Cleaner London

London's iconic black taxi cabs head for zero emission mobility, after UK government agrees to extend Plug-in Taxi Grant, in news welcomed by FREENOW

The UK government has announced an extension to the Plug-in Taxi Grant until April 2025, following widespread success. 

Since it was unveiled in 2017, the Plug-in Taxi Grant has provided over £50m to support the purchase of more than 9,000 zero emission taxi cabs. The grant has led to over 54% of London’s licensed taxis being electric.

London’s electric black cabs are a clean mobility solution 

The city of London has been historically linked to smog. Now with the rise of zero emission taxi cabs, Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, is hopeful that this move will help to decrease the volume of air pollution. 

“London’s licensed taxi drivers are proud to be leading the way in adopting zero emission electric taxis. Our members have invested record sums in these clean, green vehicles and the PiTG has played a vital role in making this possible,” he said. “Today’s announcement provides the certainty and support hard working taxi drivers and fleets need to continue investing in the future of this important sector and delivering the high-quality, accessible service London’s iconic black cabs are known for, all whilst helping to clean up our air and working towards net zero.”

Chris Allen, Managing Director at London EV Company, agreed, saying that the announcement was a positive signal to the taxi trade and its customers, that the government is committed to supporting the electrification of its iconic industry.

“LEVC is continually innovating to deliver the latest in clean, accessible mobility solutions,” he said. “We will continue to work with government to deliver for drivers and passengers across the UK.”

EV Adoption drives cities towards sustainability

Mariusz Zabrocki, General Manager at FREENOW UK, said that he was delighted at the news. 

“The cost of EV taxis can be prohibitive for drivers and this grant can certainly support drivers to make the switch to EV,” he said. “Over 70% of FREENOW taxi trips are done with EV black cabs. The transition to electric vehicles is a national effort and will require targeted support if we are to see a step-change in EV take-up. Affordable and equitable access to rapid EV charging continues to be one of the main challenges for taxi drivers, particularly in the city centre.”

FREENOW will continue to call for a reduction in the VAT levied against on-street charge-points to 5% so that it is at the same level as the rate applicable to home charging. Zabrocki argues that the combination of high energy costs and difficulty accessing off-street charge points keeps the costs of running an EV high for many drivers, which is unfair.

“Across the UK, we continue to support our drivers to move to electric by offering higher earnings, financial support, and access to unique third-party partnerships to make the switch as simple and affordable as possible,” he said. 

However, Zabrocki argues that greater public support and private sector collaboration is needed to ensure investment is made where it’s required most – especially for the taxi driver community.


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