Zac Goldsmith MP met with Steve MacNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) in Westminster to test out the new, fully electric black cab. The electric taxi – the ‘TX’ – hit London’s streets for the first time earlier this year, and already almost 50 are out picking up passengers. Zac and Steve discussed the need to ensure that the charging infrastructure is place to support these cabbies, and help more switch to the new vehicle.
The taxi trade is leading the charge in transitioning London’s transport network to be zero emission. However, drivers need to feel confident when buying the new taxi that widespread accessible, affordable and reliable rapid electric charging infrastructure is in place. For every minute a taxi driver is off the road, they are losing potential income.
This week, the Mayor of London announced that 100 rapid charge points are now up and running in London. This is a welcome start, but many more are needed to support the drivers who buy the cab, and incentivise others to do the same. In Richmond Park, there is only one rapid charge point available exclusively for taxi drivers.
Manufactured by the London Electric Vehicle Company in their factory in Coventry, the new electric black cab’s e-City technology allows for a range of up to 400 miles including up to 80 miles pure electric. Alongside its green credentials it has a panoramic sunroof, spacious seating for six passengers, enhanced accessibility features, in-vehicle charging and wi-fi.
Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park, said:
“Big thanks to the LTDA for letting me test out the new cab.”
“This is a stunning new development for our iconic black cabs. The fully electric model is really beautiful and a pleasure to use, and look forward to seeing them on the streets of London.”
“This is a big leap forward for the taxi trade and we need to be doing all we can to support more drivers to make this change, and tackle the dangerous levels of air pollution in London.
“We must work to remove any barriers holding drivers back, including the lack of appropriate charging points”.
Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the LTDA, said:
“It was great to welcome Zac to test out the new fully electric black cab.
“This is a game-changer for us and we are proud to be leading the charge in cleaning up London’s polluted air.
“The Mayor, TfL and London boroughs need to work together and accelerate the roll-out of accessible rapid charging points for cabbies.”
Notes to Editors
About the LTDA
The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association is the professional and authoritative voice of London taxi drivers. With over 10,500 members, it represents almost half of all taxi drivers in London and is the largest organisation of its kind.
The ‘TX’ electric cab
The London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) has manufactured the new zero emissions capable taxi, named the TX.
· The TX order book opened on 1st August 2017, and the vehicle is already on the streets.
· Since January 2018, TfL has required all new taxis to be zero emissions capable – currently the TX is the only vehicle that meets TfL’s ‘conditions of fitness’ and is available to buy.
· After grants from the Government and TfL totalling £7,500, the cost of the TX to drivers will be £55,599.
· Drivers will have a range of up to 80 miles on pure electric, and a combined range of over 400 miles with its small petrol generator.