Go Electric Taxi is a scheme to encourage taxi cab drivers to move to electric vehicles.
The Go Electric Taxi scheme includes a range of different incentives
worth £2,500 for taxi drivers interested in making the switch to a
cleaner vehicle – as well as the opportunity for a two-week test drive
for all Coventry Hackney cab drivers.
The initiative, led by Coventry City Council, is supported by a range of
companies including, the Coventry electric taxi maker LEVC, Irish
energy company ESB, Siemens and the taxi app Gett.
Hackney carriage owners in Coventry get the chance to try
out the latest electric taxis produced by LEVC, as part of a scheme to
encourage cabbies to understand more about the benefits of electric
Go Electric Taxi aims to speed up the modernisation of the Coventry
taxi fleet and offer a premium, better value, service for Coventarians.
All these vehicles will offer laptop charging, mobile phone charging,
free wifi, card payment – and zero emission capable driving. As part of
the scheme, the first 60 drivers of electric taxis in the city will benefit
from a significant contribution towards their insurance costs, as well as
a waiver of several licensing fees, this is valued at around £2,500. The
scheme has been funded by grants from the Office of Low Emission
Vehicles and the Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit.
The scheme was promoted via an event held by the taxi rank by the
station, whereby leaflets were given out to taxi drivers. In addition to a
letter and SMS being sent to all eligible participants.
The government pledged £1.2 Million to support the scheme.
Evidence of success
The Go Electric Taxi pilot scheme was oversubscribed and has led to a significant number of cab drivers placing orders, with there being at least 15 electric taxis on the city’s streets at the start of 2019 with 100 drivers taking part in the try before you buy scheme. This has reduced each driver’s carbon footprint by 7 tonnes a year, improved the air quality, reduced running costs and initial reports suggests drivers are less stressed and more focused.
One of the biggest challenges was that scheme was oversubscribed
and couldn’t initially keep up with demand. In addition, the licensing
authority needs to back such a scheme with regulation changes
whereby highly polluted hackney carriages are not licensed anymore.
Potential for learning or transfer
This scheme of encouraging cab drivers to move to electric vehicles
could be rolled out in any city given the backing from local
governments and support organisations. Indeed, similar schemes in
other cities have also been adopted and Coventry City Council have
been in discussions with four other authorities on how the scheme was
set-up because they were interested in setting something similar up in
their particular authority.
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