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Can the Cab Industry be Greener?

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As we continue to look for ways to reduce pollution in our cities, taxi companies have become a target for improvement. With thousands of diesel vehicles currently polluting London and major cities, it’s only sensible that the government looks to improve the industry’s eco-credentials.

The process of making the cab industry greener has already begun, and since the beginning of 2018, all newly licensed taxis in London must be “zero emissions capable.” Although this is undoubtedly a great initiative, can anything else be done to make the cab industry greener?

The London Electric Vehicle Company

In late 2017, the maker of the London black cab unveiled a new electric design. The new model runs for about 70 miles off a battery, before switching to a petrol engine, which has a range of 400 miles. Previously known as the London Taxi Company, the firm also rebranded as the London Electric Vehicle Company, a nod to where the future of the industry may be going.

Government Incentives

The government recently announced that it would offer tax breaks to help black cabs go green. This April, a £1,550 tax exemption for electric cars came into force, hoping to help turn the industry ‘green.’
The exemption applies to new cabs purchased from April onwards. The announcement follows the Autumn Budget, where it was announced that zero-emission taxis worth over £40,000 will no longer have to pay a Vehicle Excise Duty charge.

At present, any car worth over £40,000 is required to pay the vehicle excess duty charge. However, by exempting zero emissions taxis, it is hoped that many current cab owners will be tempted to switch their old taxi for a greener option.

For each taxi driver that gets rid of their old diesel model and replaces it with a zero emissions vehicle, there’s a saving of seven tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. There are currently 75,000 black cabs in England, so if everyone switched, this would save around 525,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. For this reason, it’s simple to see why the government are incentivizing new taxis and getting people to switch.

Advice for Businesses

If you’re looking to start a new taxi business, or are simply looking to replace your current taxi, then it’s worth considering the long-term nature of your vehicle investment.

This is because the above rules may mean that buying a brand-new diesel vehicle may not be your best option.

As a result, shop around and consider your options. With new diesel models and new electric options both available, you can choose an option that suits your budget. If you’re looking for a shorter-term solution to assess how effective these plans are, then you could always opt for a used taxi, such as the ones available from Cab Direct.

To conclude, the taxi industry appears to be moving toward a greener future, with a focus on electric vehicles and government incentives. If you’re looking to buy a new taxi, ensure you’re fully aware of any grants that may be available, as well as relevant legislation that may impact you.

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