Electric Black Cabs Forced To Use Petrol Due To Severe Lack Of Charge Points

13 February 2019, 10:31 | Updated: 13 February 2019, 10:43

Black Cab drivers with new electric vehicles say they're frequently having to run on petrol because there are "nowhere near" enough charge-points for them in the city.

LBC has learnt there are just ELEVEN taxi-only, rapid-charge-points in the centre of London - one for every 100 electric black cabs.

There are none at all either Westminster or the City of London.

Steve McNamara, head of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association, says the amount of electric charge points is a "scandal."

A cabbie charges his black cab at one of the few charging points in central London
A cabbie charges his black cab at one of the few charging points in central London. Picture: PA

TfL have been pushing for drivers to buy these electric vehicles, costing almost £60,000, to try and cut down on pollution.

They even offer drivers grants to help buy the cars and they now only issue new licences for cabbies with electric vehicles - so the number of drivers needing these charger points is only going to rise.

There are 1,200 drivers with electric-hybrid vehicles in the capital - with another 2,500 expected to hit the streets throughout 2019.

The purple pins show the location of the charging points in central London
The purple pins show the location of the charging points in central London. Picture: ZapMaps

The key issue is a lack of "rapid" charge points, which gives them the power they need in just 30 minutes, rather than the most common chargers which take eight hours. Some are reserved exclusively for taxis to help keep them working.

But there are just 11 in the central London area and 65 in the whole of Greater London.

Mayor Sadiq Khan told LBC: "Listen, Westminster is not a nice borough. They are anti-cycling. They are anti-pedestrian and now you tell me they are anti-black cab. I don't know what this council does.

"We are working with those boroughs which are being collegiate, Southwark is a good example. We need to make sure that boroughs realise that it is important for them to have the infrastructure in place to help black taxis.

"Westminster needs to join the party. It's not good enough for them to turn a blind eye to the need for electric infrastructure."

Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Environment and City Highways, Tim Mitchell said: “The council is ahead of every other London borough in introducing electric vehicle infrastructure to the capital. We already have over 200 charging points and are in the process of installing ten new rapid charging points across the city.

“This is not without its challenges and we have been working with TfL to ensure the chargers are installed as quickly as possible.

"It is disappointing that The Mayor is, once again, playing politics with such an important project. We remain willing to meet with the LTDA and TfL to discuss electric vehicle infrastructure in Westminster.”