Ultra Low Emission Zones in London – A Minicab and Taxi Industry White Paper

This White Paper presents key recommendations in response to Transport for London’s proposed introduction of an Ultra-Low Emission Zone in London, based on an industry roundtable discussion between key private hire & taxi industry stakeholders.

Summary of agreements

  • The concept of cleaner air presents several social benefits, so all parties agree on the importance of introducing an ULEZ in London.
  • The current ‘cliff-edge’ TfL ULEZ policies will affect 65,000 minicabs and 23,000 black cabs.  A phased approach whereby plans are tested, and iterated based on learnings is a must to ensure business as usual for existing fleets and drivers.
  • There is a level of nervousness around the 2018 / 2020 targets, due to lack of charging infrastructure and suitable vehicles available. This nervousness is felt by green car manufacturers (who can’t supply cars with inadequate charging infrastructure), fleets and operators (who can’t commit to buying green vehicles until the charging infrastructure is confirmed, or in place).
  • Financial loss caused by the transition to be ULEZ-ready is a big concern for existing minicab and black cab fleets.
  • Government support and subsidisation of a ULEZ transition for existing fleets is unclear, and therefore, unsupportive during these important planning stages. One way government could support is to offer vehicle upgrade loans.
  • There is not enough regular communication from TfL on the ULEZ process, plans or insights to private hire and black cab license holders, or fleet operators.
  • The ULEZ penalty price plans for non-compliant domestic vehicles are too low.

Industry Key Recommendations

Below are a range of key recommendations to be considered by TfL during the policy planning stages for London’s Ultra-low Emission Zones.

1) A phased approach – An initial target of 2018 for fleets to become ULEZ-ready is not physically possible.  Instead, the transition should be phased over a 2 year period, with clearly presented support from TfL.

2) Improved charging infrastructure – Existing charging infrastructure in London is not yet sufficient for the recharge of London’s existing electric vehicles that currently serve London’s passengers, before the introduction of ULEZ.  The charging infrastructure plans must be in place, and communicated to all industry stakeholders, to provide minicab and taxi operators with the confidence they need to make a decision to buy a green vehicle.

3) Government support and subsidisation – There must be clear support and subsidisation options made available to all minicab and black cab operators as soon as possible, to enable fleets and individuals to make the best decisions for the future.

4) A dedicated ULEZ communication hub – A TfL-owned regularly updated communication channel for all stakeholders affected by London’s ULEZ should be made available, for proactive and reactive communication between drivers, fleet operators, manufacturers, charging infrastructure providers and other affected / affecting stakeholders

5) Improved green vehicle innovation and supply – Supply of green vehicles is not currently sufficient to respond to the demands created by the ULEZ plans in 2018 / 2020 – more innovation and better supply of green vehicles that are the right size to serve the minicab and taxi industry should be a key and immediate focus.

If you’d like to share your comments on the ULEZ plans, or wish to get involved with future discussions, please contact Kabbee’s press team at kabbee@sensecommunications.co.uk.

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