The taxi industry is undergoing major changes with the drive towards greener vehicles, as well as the disappearance of traditional haunts for taxi drivers to grab a cuppa and catch up with colleagues.
One of the biggest changes to the taxi landscape has been seen in London, which had plenty of dedicated cafes, services and meeting points for drivers.
Popular haunts included The Royal Oak in Paddington, which was an ideal spot for drivers to take a break and grab something to eat. As with many venues of its size, it was sold and has been turned into apartments and hotels.
The cafe in Camley Street was another favourite with the capital’s cabbies before it closed and was recently followed by the cafe at GSS which is now a vehicle spares shop.
While meeting points like this are disappearing, it is easy to see how taxi drivers can become disillusioned with the trade, losing things that matter to them, while working even harder to pay bills such as maintenance, repairs and public hire insurance. It is a story that has played out across the country as developers make the most of every square inch of property and the taxi industry looks to adapt to a greener future.
This has led to a new approach by rental fleet firm HP Taxi, which has created a huge charging site in South London. In partnership with infrastructure company ZEVHub, it has created a new taxi charging hub just off the Old Kent Road in Mandela Way.
As reported by Taxi Point, the charging hub has 10 30kWh charge points which allow cabbies to quickly charge their LEVC TXs from empty to more than 80% charge in just half an hour at a cost of 60p per kWh.
And HP Taxi has made the site as comfortable and appealing to cabbies as possible so they can relax and continue to do the job they love.
Taxi Point reports: “Drivers wanting to use the facilities simply need to log their arrival and departure and pay via staff members on site. There are also clean toilet facilities available and a chance to grab a coffee whilst waiting.
“This arrival is exciting enough in its own right as taxi drivers look for more dedicated taxi charge points in central areas, but the real excitement can be found when hearing about the potential of the site and the future plans.”
The bespoke offering will include more specialised coffee shops, healthy eateries, car wash, rest areas, more charge points, Knowledge of London school and “any other service a cabbie might find useful”.
This is the sort of dedicated site taxi drivers need if they are to switch to EV cabs. Charging points and the range of cabs have been major stumbling blocks for those looking to swap their diesel cabs and much has been made about the shortage of public charging points and the time spent charging.
Having dedicated taxi hubs such as these will mean that drivers can quickly charge their cabs while they have a break or stop for a meal and can enjoy the company of colleagues. This will help maintain the tight-knit community of the industry and give drivers real options for the future, rather than worrying how they will be able to run their business with an EV taxi and relying on public charging stations.
Being among friends, they will also keep an eye on each other’s cabs which should reduce the chances of theft or damage, and anything else that will affect their taxi insurance.
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