News from Florence Eshalomi: Supporting the taxi trade switch to cleaner cabs

23 March 2018

Local London Assembly Member, Florence Eshalomi AM, met with Steve MacNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) in Southwark today to test out the new, fully electric black cab. The electric taxi – the ‘TX’ – hit London’s streets for the first time earlier this year, and already almost 50 are out picking up passengers. Florence and Steve discussed the need to ensure that the charging infrastructure is in place to support these cabbies, and help more switch to the new vehicle.

 

The LDTA say the taxi trade is leading the charge in transitioning London’s transport network to be zero emission. However, they say that drivers need to feel confident when buying the new taxi that widespread accessible, affordable and reliable rapid electric charging infrastructure is in place. After all, for every minute a taxi driver is off the road, they are losing potential income.

 

This week, the Mayor of London announced that 100 rapid charge points are now up and running in London. Groups like the LDTA says that this is a welcome start, but say many more are needed to support the drivers who buy the cab, and incentivise others to do the same. In Southwark there are 5 rapid charge points available exclusively for taxi drivers, whilst in Lambeth there are none.

 

Manufactured by the London Electric Vehicle Company in their factory in Coventry, the new electric black cab’s e-City technology allows for a range of up to 400 miles including up to 80 miles pure electric.

 

Florence Eshalomi, London Assembly Member for Lambeth and Southwark said:

 

“A huge thank you to the LTDA for letting me test out the new cab.

 

“This is a big leap forward for the taxi trade and we need to be doing all we can to support more drivers to make this change, and tackle the dangerous levels of air pollution in London.

 

“We must work to remove any barriers holding drivers back, including the lack of appropriate charging points.”

 

Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the LTDA, said:

 

“It was great to welcome Florence to test out the new fully electric black cab.

 

“This is a game-changer for us and we are proud to be leading the charge in cleaning up London’s polluted air.

 

“The Mayor, TfL and London boroughs need to work together and accelerate the roll-out of accessible rapid charging points for cabbies.”

 

ENDS

Notes to editors

More information about the ‘TX’ electric cab can be found below:

    • Since January 2018, TfL has required all new taxis to be zero emissions capable – currently the TX is the only vehicle that meets TfL’s ‘conditions of fitness’ and is available to buy.

    • After grants from the Government and TfL totalling £7,500, the cost of the TX to drivers will be £55,599.

    • Drivers will have a range of up to 80 miles on pure electric, and a combined range of over 400 miles with its small petrol generator.

  • More information about the LTDA can be found below:

    • The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association is the professional and authoritative voice of London taxi drivers. With over 10,500 members, it represents almost half of all taxi drivers in London and is the largest organisation of its kind.

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