Transport for London (TfL) is embarking on a huge project to transform the streets of London and make them a healthier place to be for both city residents and occupiers of London serviced offices. Typical black cabs are to be scrapped in favour of a new electric model.
When and How the Change Will Occur
By 2018, the capital will go completely electric with all its traditional cabs operating on battery power. £18m has been invested in to the initiative which will be used in part to create 300 rapid electric-car charging stations, able to fully recharge a cab in around just 30 minutes. Compare this with the 3-4 hours it currently takes to fully charge an electric car and this is an impressive time frame.
With a quick time frame in mind, TfL have also scheduled an initial 75 chargers to be erected in the city by the end of this year. London’s power grids will however have to go through an extensive upgrade in order to accommodate the new initiative. Whether this will affect business within surrounding London serviced offices is something we will have to wait to discover.
The cost of installing these new charging stations will fall down to a range of companies who have all won a TfL tender after an extensive bidding process. The successful companies who are now in charge of funding, installing, operating and maintaining the network are; Centrica, Chargemaster, Bluepoint London, Electricity Supply Board and Fastend.
The proposals to clean up London’s air pollution will also benefit drivers and taxi users alike. Although official pricing has not been confirmed TfL are promising a competitive market. Talks surrounding a pricing cap for pay as you go customers within the first two years has been discussed. This means that getting to London serviced offices throughout the city could be cheaper than ever.
Drivers on the other hand are to be given up to £5,000 towards the cost of a new zero emissions cab if the taxi they currently drive is older than 10 years of age. Savings on fuel and running cost are also part of the new venture, making going green seem like a win-win situation for all.
A Case of Urgency
Air pollution causes around 40,000 premature deaths in the UK annually with nearly ¼ of these occurring in London alone. With this in mind it is no surprise that drastic changes are being forced in to action. Cleaning the air as well as saving lives and money; the new cabs can’t come quick enough for city residents and occupiers of London serviced offices.
According to the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association it seems we won’t have to wait long either. They are expecting the first electric black cab to be on our London roads by the end of September.
What are your thoughts on this new initiative? Will you be more inclined to take a cab when getting to London’s serviced offices under the new legislation? Let us know your views in the comments below.