London’s iconic black cab drivers join InstaVolt to call for greater government support

  • Black cab drivers in London team up with InstaVolt to seek government support for electric fleet transition.
  • InstaVolt launches largest rapid charging superhub at Syon Park, offering reduced costs in solidarity with campaign.
  • Advocates stress VAT reduction on public EV charging for affordability and mass adoption.

London black cab drivers have rallied with InstaVolt to call for greater support in electrifying the city’s taxi fleet

London’s black cab drivers join InstaVolt to advocate for increased government support in their transition to an all-electric fleet. Nearly 60% of the city’s famed black cabs are already electric. Drivers are intensifying their call for assistance to hasten the shift. 

Led by the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), their demands include a reduction in VAT on public charging to 5% and improved access to rapid chargers. This is particularly crucial through strategically positioned superhubs like InstaVolt’s.

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InstaVolt recently unveiled their largest ultra rapid EV charging superhub at Syon Park in Brentford. This milestone hub boasts 14 chargers. It’s strategically situated near major transportation arteries such as the M4 and Heathrow Airport. The aim is to address the capital’s acute shortage of rapid charging infrastructure. In a show of solidarity with the LTDA’s campaign, InstaVolt is implementing a temporary 15% reduction in charging costs at its London stations. This effectively mirrors the proposed VAT cut.

Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the LTDA, commented: 

“Rapid charging superhubs like this fantastic facility are key to expanding the charging network in London and ensuring drivers can always find a place to charge their cab and benefit from amenities while they wait. 

Well over half of London’s black cabs are now electric but the shortage of rapid public charging points and rising cost of charging remain barriers to wider uptake of electric taxis. Reducing the VAT on public charging, bringing it into line with home chargers, would help level the playing field for those drivers unable to charge at home as well as supporting drivers with mounting operating costs. We hugely appreciate InstaVolt’s gesture of removing the VAT equivalent themselves to demonstrate the positive impact such a reduction would have.”

Transport for London (TfL) has been at the forefront of promoting a greener taxi fleet since 2018. They mandated that all newly licensed taxis must be zero-emission capable. However, drivers continue to grapple with obstacles. These include inadequate rapid charging points and escalating charging expenses.

Quentin Willson, Transport Campaigner and Founder of FairCharge, added: 

“FairCharge has campaigned for three years repeatedly asking the Treasury to cut the VAT on public EV charging, and help reduce costs for those electric car drivers who can’t charge at home. Affordability is one of the key levers to mass EV adoption. I’m really encouraged to see InstaVolt symbolically reduce their prices, to reflect the difference a VAT cut would make, and for the LTDA and all their EV cab drivers to join the campaign. Hopefully this will help HMT appreciate that reducing the tax on electricity for public EV charging is an important lever for increasing EV adoption.”

Alliances like this underscore the imperative of robust government backing and infrastructure development. These are necessary to realise ambitious sustainability objectives. Collaboration is key to making a collective voice heard. With London rapidly decarbonising, its iconic black cab fleet is essential to its efforts. Only with adequate support can the fleet move with the times successfully and keep this time-honoured service running into the future.

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