We all often mention the benefits of owning and driving electric cars. However, taxi drivers are sometimes forgotten about. So, how will the rise of electric cars affect taxi drivers and their business?
Shifting the re-fuelling experience beyond the service station
In 2020, taxi drivers’ “range anxiety” concerns and fears will be set at ease. As more and more chargers including high speed rapid chargers are further afield than just a petrol station forecourt. Charging points are now located in places such as pubs and restaurants. As well as within the community on streetlights and at dedicated charging hubs for electric cars.
High-power charging to hit the highways of the UK
The ability to charge electric cars as quickly as possible in a short time frame is at the forefront of every EV adoption. However to taxi firms and their drivers this is the most important factor in 2020. Minimising the time spent charging allows them to maximise the time spent serving customers which impacts their earning potential.
Thankfully, the surge of rapid chargers being introduced in the UK can add a substantial amount of mile range in as little as 10 minutes. A key example of these chargers are the 350kW chargers, which are part of one of the world’s fastest and largest charging networks, Ionity.
Although most electric cars are currently unable to utilise the full charge rate of the 350kW chargers. EVision believes that many charge point operators will choose to install 100+kW charging options as standard in the future. This will ensure that their higher-power charge points are future-proof for the evolving charging infrastructure.
Parking spaces to change into charging hotspots
It is a widely known fact that off-street parking is in high demand especially in cities and suburbs. This means that many EV taxi drivers without the ability to charge their vehicle at home will need access to a publicly available charger.
During 2020, we will begin to see an increase in the transformation of parking spaces at retail and leisure outlets as well as transport hubs, into EV charging destinations. This is already happening in some parts of the UK, and in other parts of the world. As the uptake of electric cars increases in 2020, we will begin to see these chargers more and more at shopping centre car parks. Not to mention the introduction of charging hub. Transport for London (TfL) and electric car charging network Engenie have opened London’s first rapid charging hub in Stratford, London.
As well as these, the UK is set to be the first to install flexible wireless vehicle charging. The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that the technology is to be installed at a taxi rank outside Nottingham railway station as part of a £3.4 million Government investment. Their aim to electrify taxi fleets in congested urban areas is crucial to cutting transport emissions and improving air quality. Electric taxis will be able to recharge their batteries by parking over five plates in the road while waiting for their next passengers. The DfT said the system will avoid street clutter from charge points and cables. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps states that ‘new wireless technology will make using an electric taxi quicker and more convenient’
The switch to electric cars
As of January 2018, all new taxis licensed for the first time must be zero-emission capable (ZEC). Taxis are currently responsible for 25% of harmful NOx emissions. It is said that in 2020 they will be the biggest source of transport pollution in central London. TfL has a target to reduce emissions from taxis by 65% by 2025.
In January 2019, The Mayor of London increased the size of the green fund to £42m. Meaning that £10,000 payments were available to the first 1,250 taxi drivers to sign up to switch to an electric taxi. Slightly lower payments to encourage the uptake of zero-emission taxis are still available on a first come first serve basis. Alex Williams, TfL’s Director of City Planning, said: ‘We will continue to support taxi drivers in making the transition to zero-emission with a range of grants and an ever-expanding rapid charge point network.’
What can EVision offer taxi drivers?
Hiring electric cars from EVision will benefit taxi drivers significantly. The running costs of an EV are around £100 per week lower than diesel. Taxi drivers are more than welcome to hire any EV from EVision. Our electric cars are Uber-ready and approved by TfL for PCO. However, you will need to provide the PCO yourself and we will need to see a copy of the license. Additionally, you will need to provide your own fully comprehensive insurance for the vehicle.
Looking for a longer rental? Then with any hire of a BMW, Renault ZOE and Kia e-Niro of 12 months or more, EVision will install a home charge point. If you prefer larger vehicles then with any hire of a Tesla, Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace of 12 months or more, we will install an industrial power charge point. We know, it sounds too good to be true!
The big question is…which of our electric cars will you choose for your taxi service?
If you’re looking for an electric company car, you are in the right place. Check out our video below for more information.