A programme for encouraging taxi drivers to upgrade to electric vehicles has been launched in Coventry as part of an initiative led by the city council.
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.
The initiative is supported by a range of companies including, the Coventry electric taxi maker LEVC, Irish energy company ESB, Siemens and the taxi app Gett.
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.
Two thirds of Coventry residents have already said that they would specifically choose an electric taxi, if given the option.
Cllr Jayne Innes, cabinet member for city services in Coventry, said that she was keen to support local cabbies in helping them to look at options for maintaining their high standards of services.
She added:“We are very proud of the high standards of our licensed taxi drivers, and their key role in welcoming people to the city and supporting the local community and businesses. I’m really keen to see how drivers find the loan scheme, especially if it can bring benefits to their business and improve standards for customers in Coventry.”
Chris Gubbey, CEO of LEVC, said:“Coventry has always been the home of the black cab and this new scheme will ensure that Coventry’s taxi sector has one of the most modern, customer-centric fleets in the UK. These extended trials will give drivers a chance to get comfortable with our proven EV technology and see how much the vehicle delights passengers.”
LEVC has been producing the TX eCity at its £325m Coventry factory since the start of the year, although most of its vehicles have been sold in London to date. LEVC currently employs around 800 people in the city, and as production ramps up will employ around 1,500 people.