Electric taxi-land

Posted by: Ashley Birch
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City Taxis are set to ‘go green’ in 2020 with new fleet of electric cars

Sheffield taxi firm City Taxis has unveiled ambitious sustainability plans to deliver an all-electric fleet of 2,000 cars no later than 2025, starting with 700 by the end of 2020.


The news comes as the city of Sheffield announced plans for a Clean Air Zone in the city centre, charging £10-a-day for the most polluting vehicles and £50 for buses, reminiscent of London’s ULEZ and Congestion charge.


City Taxis say, that with around 20,000 taxi bookings per week in the city centre, it would not be cost effective to have their taxis operating there, so they are currently engaging in an EV pilot with ten of our drivers.


Speaking about the plans, Arnie Singh, Managing Director of City Taxis Arnie Singh said: “I’m very excited. I want Sheffield to have the first all-electric taxi fleet in the UK. If we are going for it, let’s go for it as a city and do it right.


“I want to thank Renault, iCabbi and Sheffield City Council for their support in helping us put this initiative to the top of our agenda.”


It is hoped that this announcement will kick start a rapid acceleration in Sheffield City’s migration to electric vehicles.  Despite being one of England’s Greenest Cities and the only one to boast a National Park within its boundaries, Sheffield is behind the curve on migrating to a low emission infrastructure.


Out of 10,385 charging locations in the UK, Sheffield currently has only 33, equating to 0.3% of the UK’s charging infrastructure. The lack of charging infrastructure creates a barrier to the wider city region’s objectives to be greener, so City Taxis has teamed up with iCabbi and Nissan-Renault to help create a solution.


The introduction of City’s unique new Charging Hubs in shipping containers could potentially double the city’s available charging points. The proposed charging hubs are not only for taxis either – but they would also be open to the public and come equipped with wifi and facilities similar to a petrol station.


According to Mr Singh, City Taxis is in talks with Sheffield City Council about the charging hubs’ location. Councillor Bob Johnson, cabinet member for transport and development at Sheffield City Council, says Sheffield will do “everything it can” to make the project a success.


Councillor Johnson also confirmed that charging infrastructure is already underway as the city, “will install 22 charge points with capacity for 44 vehicles. We have been talking to taxi drivers to make sure they’re located in the right place,”


Sheffield’s proposed Clean Air Zone is set to be introduced in early 2021 and apply to all non-compliant vehicles within, or on, the ring road. City Taxis hopes to have 700 electric cars on the road by then.

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