A new scheme launches in Coventry today to encourage taxi drivers into the new hybrid-powered LEVC black cab.
The Go Electric Taxi incentive is worth £2,500 for drivers who make the switch. Coventry Hackney Cab drivers will also get two-week test drives to help prove the new LEVC’s case.
The scheme is supported by Irish Energy company ESB, taxi app Gett and tech giant Siemens. The latter will supply and maintain a network of rapid charging points throughout the city.
An event on September 5 at Coventry railway station allowed local drivers to get hands-on with the locally-built cab. The aim for Go Electric Taxi is to speed up the modernisation of Coventry’s private hire fleet.
The new LEVC offers charging points for mobile phones and laptops in the back, free wi-fi and card payment.
The £2,500 incentives can be quantified in insurance cost contributions as well as waivers for many of the extensive licensing fees required of cabbies. Assuming the success of the scheme, prospective low-emissions cabbies will need to be quick to cash in – only the first 60 drivers will get the offer.
The real-world results should be encouraging, too, with savings of £400 a month on fuel claimed by Coventry cabbie, Kartar Sabraiwal.
“Electric vehicles are the future – and will mean a smoother, more pleasant ride for my passengers as well as helping clean up Coventry’s air. The fact I will be financially better off from making the switch is also a big bonus,” said Sabraiwal.
As part of the Gett parnership, zero-commission fares will be available to LEVC TX eCity drivers for the first six months of their ownership. That’s a win-win of higher profits for drivers and smart new cabs for Gett users.
It’s already been established that two-thirds of Coventry residents would take a cleaner cab if given the option. All that’s needed now is for drivers to make the switch.
The LEVCs have another mission, too – arguably more important and far-reaching than their own localised emissions savings. These cabs will expose a huge amount of potential future car buyers to electric power, speeding up the adoption of hybrid and electric cars.
“Coventry has always been the home of the black cab and this new scheme will ensure that Coventry’s taxi sector has one of the most modern, customer-centric fleets in the UK” said Chris Gubbey, CEO of LEVC.
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