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Half of London’s famed black cab taxi fleet are now EVs


Electric cabs mainly from China’s Geely division now have the majority of the market.


Half of London’s black cab fleet is now made up of zero-emission vehicles, marking a significant milestone in the city’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality. In an announcement by manufacturer LEVC and Transport for London (TfL), it was revealed that out of the 14,690 licensed taxis in the capital, an impressive 7,972 of them are battery electric vehicles (BEVs). LEVC, a subsidiary of Geely, has played a major role in this shift towards sustainable transportation.

The rapid growth of BEVs in London’s black cab fleet is evident, with the number of these eco-friendly models increasing by a remarkable 10 percent in just the last month alone. This surge in adoption demonstrates both the commitment of taxi drivers to embrace cleaner transport options and the effectiveness of initiatives spearheaded by TfL and LEVC.

By embracing zero-emission vehicles, London is taking significant steps towards reducing its carbon footprint and combatting the harmful effects of air pollution. Not only do these electric taxis contribute to cleaner air quality for Londoners, but they also showcase the city’s dedication to sustainable transportation solutions.

The success of the electric taxi fleet in London serves as an encouraging example for other cities around the world. It highlights the potential for widespread adoption of electric vehicles in the transportation sector, reinforcing the positive impact that can be achieved when governments, manufacturers, and individuals work together towards a greener future.

With continued support and investment in electric vehicle infrastructure, as well as incentives for taxi drivers to transition to low-emission vehicles, the transformation of urban taxi fleets has the potential to accelerate even further. London’s thriving black cab fleet of battery electric vehicles sets a precedent and inspires other cities to strive for similar achievements in sustainable transportation.

“Reaching this milestone is a great reflection of how London is working hard to be a greener, more sustainable, environmentally friendly city,” said TfL’s Helen Chapman. “London’s black taxis are recognized worldwide and we are proud to see that so many drivers are helping clean up the air.”

Since 2018, Transport for London (TfL) has implemented a mandatory requirement for all new taxis licensed in the city to be zero emissions vehicles. This regulation was extended to private minicabs last year, further emphasizing the commitment to reducing carbon emissions and promoting a greener environment.

New drivers, entering the industry, haven’t had a choice but to comply with this policy. With the aim of promoting sustainability and reducing air pollution, TfL has taken significant steps towards shaping a more environmentally friendly transportation system in London. By mandating the use of electric vehicles, they are making a positive impact on the city’s air quality.

In addition to encouraging new drivers to adopt zero emissions vehicles, TfL has also motivated existing licensed taxi drivers to switch to more efficient and eco-friendly options. Those who continue to operate less efficient vehicles are now required to pay a daily rate of £12.50 to enter and operate within central London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone since 2020. This financial incentive encourages the adoption of greener vehicles among existing drivers, further contributing to the overall reduction of emissions in the city.


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The introduction of these measures not only helps to combat the pressing issue of air pollution but also assists in promoting sustainable transportation options. By incentivizing the transition to zero emissions vehicles, TfL is playing an active role in creating a cleaner and healthier environment for London’s residents and visitors.

To find out more about the Ultra Low Emission Zone and its associated rules, you can visit the official TfL website here.

Many of London’s larger taxi and minicab operators have committed to fully-electric fleets by 2025. One notable operator that has taken this pledge is Addison Lee, which is also the largest operator in London. Addison Lee has set an ambitious goal to achieve a fully-electric fleet by 2023, just two years from now.

In their efforts to achieve this target, Addison Lee has chosen to use the VW ID 4s as part of their electric vehicle lineup. These eco-friendly vehicles not only contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions but also help in creating a sustainable transportation system for London.

It is important to note that London’s Black Cabs operate under strict regulations and are typically independently owned and licensed by Transport for London (TfL). These iconic black taxis have been a symbol of London’s transportation system for decades and are known for their distinctive appearance and knowledgeable drivers.

In a recent development, Uber made an announcement that London’s black taxis would be listed on its app. This integration has been met with mixed reactions from different sections of the black cab community. While some drivers have chosen to sign up for this new opportunity, others have expressed concerns regarding the potential impact on their business.

One of the concerns raised by some members of the black cab community is related to the competition they might face from Uber. As Uber has gained widespread popularity and become a preferred mode of transportation for many passengers, some black cab drivers worry that their own business might suffer as a result of this integration. They fear a decrease in the number of passengers using traditional black cabs and an increase in the demand for Uber services.

Additionally, there are concerns about the potential loss of the traditional black cab experience. Black cabs in London have a long-standing history and are considered an iconic part of the city’s culture. With the inclusion of black taxis on the Uber app, some people worry that the personalized and unique experience offered by black cab drivers might be diluted or lost altogether. They argue that the interactions and conversations with knowledgeable black cab drivers, often referred to as “The Knowledge,” are an irreplaceable aspect of the black cab experience.

On the other hand, there are black cab drivers who view the integration with Uber as an opportunity to expand their customer base and reach a wider audience. They see this as a chance to leverage the technology and convenience offered by Uber’s app to attract more passengers. These drivers believe that adapting to changing times and embracing new technologies can help them stay competitive in the evolving market.

Overall, the integration of London’s black taxis on the Uber app has sparked both excitement and concerns within the black cab community. It remains to be seen how this development will impact the traditional black cab industry and whether the concerns expressed by some drivers will be addressed. As the situation unfolds, it is likely that further discussions and negotiations will take place between Uber and the black cab community to find a balance that serves the interests of all parties involved.

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Source:

Steve Dent at Engadget



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