London’s iconic black cabs have reached a major milestone with more than 50 per cent now being zero emission capable , with the number totalling more than 7,970 on the city’s streets.
Transport for London says the capital’s taxi drivers are playing a significant part in cleaning up London’s toxic air with a ten per cent growth in the new more environmentally friendly vehicles in the last six months.
Figures from 2019 show taxis were responsible for 29% of the NOx emissions from central London road transport, however, emissions from the fleet have reduced following the introduction of a range of changes and support. TfL says it has helped to bring about this step change by requiring from 2018 that all new taxis licensed for the first time have to be ZEC and providing taxi delicensing grants to drivers, which removed more than 4,000 older, more polluting vehicles from the fleet.
Further measures to reduce emissions from the taxi fleet by phasing out diesel taxis and increase the number of ZEC vehicles in London, include reducing the maximum age of the most polluting taxis from 15 to 12 years between 2020 and 2022 and bringing in discounts and incentives to help drivers make the transition to new vehicles. These include helping fund a plug-in vehicle grant, supporting taxi drivers with up to £7,500 off the price of a new ZEC taxi.
Around 1,000 of the thousands of EV charging points to be found across the capital are rapid or ultra-rapid charging points that deliver a full charge in as little as 30 minutes, including 300 delivered by TfL. TfL has supported delivery of three rapid charging hubs across London – Glass Yard in Woolwich, Stratford International car park and Baynard House car park in the City of London. Glass Yard and Baynard House both have taxi dedicated bays to help ZEC taxi drivers get back on the move quickly.
Helen Chapman, Director of Licensing and Regulation at TfL, said: “Making the taxi fleet cleaner and bringing more electric vehicle charging points to the capital are significant parts of the wider efforts we’re making to help continue being London’s strong, green heartbeat, cleaning London’s air and helping get Londoners around the city in the greenest ways possible.”
(Picture – TfL)