Car contract hire customers could well see a greater number of light good vehicles, taxis and high-mileage buses in London powered by electricity in the future, thanks to a new Liberal Democrat campaign being supported by energy secretary Chris Hune.
The London Assembly Liberal Democrat organisation hopes the move will help the capital meet its climate change targets and reduce air pollution in the area dramatically.
Environment spokesman for the Liberal Democrats Mike Tuffrey noted that new taxis making use of this technology are now entering the market. However, Transport for London has thus far failed to incentivise taxi drivers to invest in the vehicles, in spite of the fact that great savings can be made on running costs.
“Electric taxis are good for the lungs of Londoners and will protect taxi drivers from sky-high fuel prices in the years ahead,” he remarked, adding that it is about time the city catches up with other townships around the world, such as Genoa and Turin.
Both these places have had electric buses running on routes for many years, Mr Tuffrey observed, while Seoul plans to see half its public transport powered by electricity by 2020 and Durham in the UK already runs electric buses.
“Why is London falling so far behind?” the spokesman questioned, adding that while electric cars are also welcome, the biggest benefits “bang for buck” come from those motors that travel the furthest and the longest and in doing so, clock up the biggest mileage.
“It is a no-brainer that the top priority is to electrify buses, taxis and vans,” Mr Tuffrey continued.
Earlier this week, low-carbon motor show EcoVelocity revealed that 4,000 tonnes of CO2 could be saved every week in London if the city’s black cabs became 100 per cent electric, while if all minicabs went electric as well, this would more than triple.
Posted by John Turner
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