Electric Taxis: a fare deal for mother nature

Green taxis It’s long been agreed that fossil fuels are damaging the environment and the emissions scandal highlighted just how bad they are for public health. There’s little doubt that electric taxis are the future, but when’s the right time to make the switch? Quoteline Direct looks at reasons for going green:

More Business Reducing your carbon footprint is a moral responsibility and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that it can help to drive your business. Public pressure is demanding that corporations tread with a lighter ecological footprint and switching to electric taxis is a step in the right direction. While big businesses are looking to put electric taxis on account, individuals are also enjoying the benefits of guilt-free travel, and the first electric taxis are already in high demand and building-up a loyal customer base.

Eco Credentials There’s much more to electric taxis than the warm environmental glow that comes from knowing that you are doing your bit to save the planet. Air pollution has been shown to shorten the lives of 70,000 people in Europe every year and changing to an electric taxi would remove seven tonnes of carbon dioxide from the environment. If the national fleet of over 75,000 black cabs all went electric, the environmental impact would be considerable.

Pollution Charges In a bid to cut toxic emissions, the Mayor of London recently introduced the T-Charge which costs motorists £10.00 a day to drive the most polluting vehicles in the city centre (that’s on top of the £11.50 daily Congestion Charge). It’s a move that’s been welcomed across the board and similar schemes are being discussed in city councils up and down the country.

Discounted Vehicles Governmental measures to create a cleaner and greener future aren’t just about bashing polluters with a stick, they’re also hoping to change behaviour with the promise of a rather tasty carrot. They have recently announced generous funding to encourage the uptake of electric taxis, including ‘Plug In’ grants of up-to £7,500 off new electric vehicles and £400 million investment in charging infrastructure.

Vehicle Choice If you are in any doubt about the benefits of investing in an electric taxi, it’s worth noting that London’s iconic black cab has just gone green. In fact, the company behind the world-famous taxi is so confident in a fossil fuel free future that they have just rebranded as The London Electric Vehicle Company and their first electric taxis have hit the streets. Saving the planet doesn’t come cheap and a new electric black cab will set you back £55,000, which may sound like a lot but they can be leased for a much more manageable £177 a week over five years, which is comparable to their diesel counterparts.

VED Exemption Drivers of zero emissions taxis are also exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (informally known as road tax), which could save cabbies as much as £1,550 a year.

Running Costs Electric taxis are significantly cheaper to run than their diesel counterparts, with estimated average fuel savings of £400 a month.

With the environmental and financial benefits adding-up it’s important to ask whether there’s a downside to investing in an electric taxi. Aside from the initial financial outlay, one of the biggest perceived drawbacks is what’s been nicknamed ‘range anxiety’. To allay concerns that the new electric black cabs will be limited by their battery charge, the manufacturer has added a 1.5l petrol ‘range extender’. They are also keen to point out that the average black taxi travels 80-120 miles a day and the new electric black cab can travel 80 miles on a full charge and the battery topped-up to 80% capacity in just 25 minutes.

At Quoteline Direct we have been helping taxi drivers find competitive cover for nearly half a century. To find out more, or to get a quick online quote, visit our taxi insurance pages or Tel: 0161 874 7777 to speak with a specialist taxi consultant.



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