The range and charging times of EVs are the biggest issues facing taxi drivers who have made the switch to greener motoring.
While they benefit from lower or no road tax, as well as not paying congestion zone or clean air charges, recharging their vehicles can be a major issue, especially if they have to wait their turn for the public charging network.
In order to get taxis and other EVs back on the road as quickly as possible, Transport for London is rolling out more ultra-fast charging points at key locations in the capital.
But professionals such as taxi drivers are calling for dedicated charging stations that will help keep the electric taxi fleet on the move, so they are not queueing up with dozens of other motorists, all waiting for one to become available.
Of the six rapid charging points created by Transport for London at the Baynard House charging hub, two are dedicated for use by taxis only, in a move that has been welcomed by the taxi fleet.
As part of its plan to improve the charging network TFL creating these charging hubs in each of London’s five sub-regions and the Baynard House installation is the third of these. The first was launched in 2019, at Stratford International in East London, followed by a South London hub in Glass Yard, Woolwich, in September, 2021.
But even creating dedicated taxi-only chargers, the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association said they aren’t easy to find and can be confusing for drivers to use.
A spokesperson told TAXI Newspaper: “The LTDA has been lobbying for more taxi-only RCPs across London and specifically for points to be installed on TfL-owned land, since the before the first electric taxis even came to market. They have continued to push TfL on this issue and encouraged them to speed up rollout.
“The new charging hub isn’t easy to find, but once you do, you can park free of charge for 45 minutes and charge your vehicle. The charging points are operated by BP Pulse at their standard rates. You can find more details on their website, with different rates offered for those using a subscription or pay as you go options.
“When accessing the charging hub, you will need to use the entrance in Castle Baynard Street. Drivers should ignore the no motor vehicles signage on approach to the car park entrance, which can be confusing.
“Vehicles staying beyond 45 minutes, will be subject to parking charges for the additional time remaining in the space, meaning a vehicle staying for two hours, would be charged for the additional 1 hour and 15 minutes of parking.”
It is good to see rapid-charging points being reserved just for taxis, but more need to be introduced at a faster rate in order to reduce the time drivers spend locating and queueing for chargers and increase the time they spend on the road picking up fares.
This is one of the reasons Patons Insurance has teamed up with a leading charging installation company to fit chargers at taxi bases. The partnership allows base owners to create charging stations and decide who uses them – whether it is exclusively for their own vehicles, for other taxis, or for the public.
All information is correct at time of publication. Information provided within this article may have changed over time. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by John Patons Insurance Services or any of its employees.