Taxi drivers and businesses are being encouraged to buy new electric taxis after the government made them exempt from the highest tax rates.
The move comes as part of the country’s ambition to have net zero emissions by 2050, and the government says it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve local air quality.
The new legislation is in addition to government grants that allow buyers of zero-emission-capable taxis to receive up to £7,500 off the purchase price.
In 2017, LEVC introduced a new London taxi with a battery-electric motor and petrol range extender engine. The company’s chief executive, Joerg Hofmann, said: “Urban transport is changing rapidly but we agree that mobility must not come at the expense of air quality.
“Our taxi has been designed to meet current and future low emissions targets. It is equipped with the latest technology to enable a total driving range of 380 miles, providing the perfect solution to the clean air challenge.”
Brendan O’Toole, managing director of Dynamo Motor Company, which is introducing its own EV taxi, said: “We welcome government’s decision to exempt electric taxis from higher vehicle excise duty.
“This move will make it easier and more beneficial for drivers and fleet owners to go green and drive electric vehicles. To support this, we will be launching the world’s first fully electric, wheelchair accessible taxi in the autumn, which will not only be a greener choice for drivers, but a more cost-effective one too.”
The government also announced the first two HGVs to be made eligible for the plug-in van grant. Buyers of the Paneltex Z75 7.5-tonne truck and the BD Auto e-Ducato 4.25-tonne van can receive a grant of up to £8,000, with the first 200 registrations of the pair to receive a higher grant of up to £20,000 to encourage early adopters.