Originally published on LinkedIn.
By Roger Atkins
An electric car with a single occupant on a single journey across London currently gets a £5000 initial purchase incentive. An electric taxi with multiple occupants on multiple journeys gets the same. If scarce resources from the public purse are trying to maximise a return on investment, this is perhaps not the best approach.
Poor air quality kills 29,000 UK citizens every year — with 4,300 of those living and/or working in London. If that many people died in almost any other circumstance there would be a monumental and wholly appropriate outcry… so why not for this?
The video below is on the www.london.gov.uk website, and Vivienne Westwood amongst others recounts her experience in getting around our magnificent capital city.
Of course, it’s not all about taxis — but in terms of delivering the best “bang for the buck,” demonstrating the merit of electric vehicles to the maximum number of people, and mitigating the most pollution, it surely makes sense to incentivise them over and above private passenger cars.
Therefore, I was delighted to hear about this:
The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) and Clean Air in London (CAL) have invited the Mayor to commit to an ‘”Eight point transformation package” for the taxi and private hire industry in London for the benefit of current and future generations of Londoners.
Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licenced Taxi Drivers Association, recently said:
“London taxi drivers want to be able to purchase and drive, clean modern taxis. With the right incentives and by working with the trade Boris has the opportunity to ensure that London is the first city in the world to have a taxi fleet comprised exclusively of ‘zero emission capable’ vehicles.”
Part of the suggested package includes establishing a fund totalling £150 million offering one-off financial grants of the greater of £10,000 or 100% of the VAT due on the purchase price of a new taxi that meets the requirements — for each of the first 15,000 fully compliant taxis purchased. This would be on top of the £5,000 government grant already available for electric vehicles (irrespective of the number of taxi providers).
I wish both Steve McNamara and co-author Simon Birkett, Founder and Director of Clean Air in London, well. Good for you!
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