News & Press
Electric Cars and the Taxi Industry: What Does the Future Hold?
January 31st 2021
The Government has brought forward its ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel-fuelled cars, including hybrids an plug-in hybrids, from 2035 to 2030, a move it says has been necessary in order for the UK to achieve its zero carbon target by 2050.
For the taxi industry, there is widespread buy-in when it comes to investing in the greener future of electric vehicles, but what of the challenges that lie ahead in terms of electric vehicle manufacturing and, more pressing for our drivers and of course their passengers, the issue of sufficient charging points to keep us all moving? And what can we expect in terms of vehicle quality?
The electric vehicle challenge
Bringing the non-electric vehicle ban date forward by five years will set a considerable challenge for the car manufacturing industry to meet demand for electric-only vehicles. Battery shortages are already delaying supply of some of them. So what is on the agenda to resolve this issue?
The Government has already funded one battery development centre, with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) in Coventry set to become operational in 2021. It has also pledged to spend almost £500 million over the course of the next four years on the development of mass-scale electric vehicle batteries.
But what of charging points?
Will there be enough charging points to keep the taxi business running on electric, and to get passengers to their destinations?
Ionity is a joint venture between the Volkswagen Group (Porsche and Audi), BMW, Daimler and Ford. It is in the process of launching 40 sites, each with up to six high power electric charging points. High power 350kW charging points allow electric vehicles to be charged in under 20 minutes. The Ionity network uses renewable energy to reduce environmental impact, and stations will be conveniently located at key motorway locations.
BP has also bought Chargemaster. This move will see the petrol station chain take over the UK’s largest public network of electric vehicle charging points. BP Chargemaster will combine Chargemaster’s 6,500 charging points with BP’s 1,200 service stations. BP is introducing 150kW rapid chargers, with 100 set up appear on forecourts by the end of 2021.
High power and rapid chargers are important to the taxi industry, as we strive to put our passengers first by spending less time charging our vehicles, and more time on customer service.
What’s more, Volkswagen has teamed up with Tesco to add 2,400 new electric vehicle chargers at 600 supermarket branches. They will also work together over the next three years to introduce chargers in selected store car parks UK-wide in a joint venture with Pod Point. Charging points are also becoming commonplace in restaurant and hotel carparks, as well as within communities such as on street lamps and at dedicated charging hubs.
What is the Government doing to encourage more electric vehicle charging points?
The Government at the end of 2020 pledged investment in Britain’s electric car charging network, with a vision that no electric vehicle owner should be any more than 30 miles away from their nearest charging point.
Boris Johnson has also set a target to expand offshore wind power capacity from 30 gigawatts to 40 gigawatts by 2030, which should help electric vehicles to become even more environmentally sound.
What about electric vehicles for executive private hire?
Passengers can expect an array of quality vehicles for their executive travel.
Audi, BMW, Citroen, Dacia, Ford, Honda, Jaguar, Lexus, Mazda, MG, Seat, Suzuki, Renault, Tesla, Vauxhall and Kia are just a few of the manufacturers that have announced plans for new electric vehicle lines, or pure electric versions of existing vehicles.
The future is electric, and ZedCarZ remains set to take you there in style
For anyone concerned about how the electric vehicle revolution will affect the private hire industry, it appears clear that the charging infrastructure, and the commitment by car manufacturers to deliver quality pure electric vehicles will stand us in good stead as the landscape evolves.
At ZedCarZ, our executive private hire service has been relied upon by professionals, corporate organisations and businesses for over ten years, and is set to continue for year to come by changing with the times. To learn more about our executive account services, you are welcome to get in touch.