• 5 December 2017
  • From the section Business

Electric cabImage copyright

Electric black taxis have hit London’s roads under plans to improve air quality but critics say their cost will put off drivers “going green”.

The £55,599 cab means drivers will have to pay £300 more a year in car tax.

Chris Gubbey, boss of manufacturer the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) insists the cab will “play a major role in helping to improve air quality”.

The launch comes weeks ahead of rules requiring new cabs in the capital to be capable of emitting zero emissions.

More than 9,000 such taxis, roughly half the current black cab fleet, are expected on London’s roads by 2021.

The new TX can travel 80 miles on a single battery charge and 370 miles on its 1.5 litre petrol engine.

The vehicle’s filtration system also removes harmful gases from incoming air.

The cab has six seats, contactless card machines, Wifi and USB charging.

LEVC says it will save drivers on average £100 in fuel a week.

Electric charging points

Concern has also been raised about the small number of electric charging points in place throughout the capital.

An £18m scheme to install 75 rapid charging stations by the end of this year – which can load vehicles in 30 minutes – is reportedly behind schedule.

“The whole thing is just a farce, you couldn’t make it up,” says Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association.

He added: “We’re constantly being told about technology and innovation, but they can’t even put a few chargers on the street so what chance have we got?”

Mayor Sadiq Khan said the rate of delivery for electric charging stations is expected “to rise dramatically, with over 130 locations currently being worked on.”

Source by BBC


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