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More than half of London’s black taxis are zero emission capable

More than 50 per cent of London's nearly 14,700 black taxis are cleaner than ever before and helping to cut down emissions in London's polluted air

  • The number of zero emission capable (ZEC) taxis in London has grown by 10 per cent in around six months [1]
  • London's ZEC taxis are made in the UK, creating jobs and supporting the UK's historic vehicle manufacturing industry 
  • The growing electric taxi fleet is supported by the comprehensive electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the capital, which is home to the highest concentration of charging points in any UK city 

London's iconic black cabs have reached a major milestone with more than 50 per cent now being zero emission capable (ZEC), with the number totalling more than 7,970 on the city's streets. The capital's taxi drivers are playing a significant part in cleaning up London's toxic air with a ten percent growth in the new more environmentally friendly vehicles in the last six months. Cleaning up the bus and taxi fleets is central to the Mayor's strategy of reducing emissions and tackling the capital's public health crisis. Toxic air pollution contributes to thousands of premature deaths, increases in asthma, causes children to grow up with stunted lungs and is linked to dementia.

Figures from 2019 show taxis were responsible for 29 per cent of the NOx emissions from central London road transport [2], however, emissions from the fleet have reduced following the introduction of a range of industry leading changes and support. TfL has helped to bring about this step change by requiring from 2018 that all new taxis licensed for the first time have to be ZEC and providing taxi delicensing grants to drivers, which removed more than 4,000 older, more polluting vehicles from the fleet.

Further measures to reduce emissions from the taxi fleet by phasing out diesel taxis and increase the number of ZEC vehicles in London, include reducing the maximum age of the most polluting taxis from 15 to 12 years between 2020 and 2022 and bringing in discounts and incentives to help drivers make the transition to new vehicles. These include helping fund a plug-in vehicle grant, supporting taxi drivers with up to £7,500 off the price of a new ZEC taxi.

Around 1,000 of the thousands of EV charging points to be found across the capital are rapid or ultra-rapid charging points that deliver a full charge in as little as 30 minutes - this includes 300 delivered by TfL. TfL has supported delivery of three rapid charging hubs across London - Glass Yard in Woolwich, Stratford International car park and Baynard House car park in the City of London. Glass Yard and Baynard House both have taxi dedicated bays to help ZEC taxi drivers get back on the move quickly. These rapid charging points are supporting the shift to zero emission vehicles by high mileage road users such as the emergency services, delivery drivers and taxis and PHVs.

London leads the UK in the take up of electric vehicles, with 142,000 plug-in electric cars and vans already registered in the capital. With more than 18,000 charge points, London currently has over a third of all EV charging infrastructure across the UK, more than any other UK region. This is, in part, due to TfL and the Mayor's commitments to see London continue leading the way in the UK. Since 2019, the Mayor has helped London's charging network grow by 300 per cent and London is on track to meet the forecast of 40,000-60,000 charging points required by 2030. This month, a tender for five new ultra-rapid charging hubs at sites across London opened to the market, each will include at least six ultra-rapid charging bays, with at least one bay for those with accessibility needs. The largest, at Hangar Lane in Ealing, will host up to 20 rapid charging bays and retail facilities. In May 2023, a delivery contract was awarded to charge point operator Zest, with 39 rapid charging bays expected to be delivered by the end of 2024. Two separate, but complementary, contracts have also been awarded to Zest to deliver 81 charging bays at 51 sites on strategic roads to support high mileage, essential road users - such as commercial vehicles and businesses.

Most of the new zero-emission capable taxis in the capital are made by the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC). LEVC's TX model is the most common ZEC taxi model in the capital, providing a clean, comfortable, and accessible journey for all. LEVC manufactures its purpose-built, range-extended electric TX taxi at its state-of-the-art factory in Ansty, Coventry. Since 2014 more than £1bn has been invested into the business by Geely Holding Group, enabling the construction of an entirely new manufacturing facility, the UK's first dedicated to the production of electric vehicles and home to around 400 jobs. This significant investment has brought job opportunities and innovation to the area, boosting the economy in the West Midlands and supporting the UK's financial growth.

TfL is working to bring even more zero emission buses to London. The fleet already has more than 1,100 buses that are zero emission and all of TfL's other buses are low emission and meet or exceed Euro VI emission standards. These buses have the lowest CO2 emissions per passenger kilometre compared to other global cities such as New York, Paris and Vancouver [3] and TfL is on track to have a fully zero-emission fleet by 2034 which could be accelerated to 2030 with Government funding. When the entire fleet is zero-emission in 2034, TfL will have saved an estimated 4.8m tonnes of carbon or an estimated 5.5m tonnes of carbon by 2030 if the date can be brought forward.

TfL's investment in zero emission buses is supporting thousands of jobs across the UK, in locations such as Ballymena, Falkirk, and Yorkshire. By creating capacity and certainty for a wider zero emission bus market, this investment is ensuring the longevity of the UK bus manufacturing supply chain.

Helen Chapman, Director of Licensing and Regulation at TfL, said:

'London's black taxis are recognised worldwide and we are proud to see that so many drivers are helping clean up our air and assist us in tackling the city's health emergency by driving zero emission capable (ZEC) vehicles. Reaching this milestone is a great reflection of how London is working hard to be a greener, more sustainable, environmentally friendly city. We know that by bringing more electric and ZEC vehicles to London we can continue to bring down the level of harmful chemicals in the air and reduce the impact of road transport on our environment.

'Making the taxi fleet cleaner and bringing more electric vehicle charging points to the capital are significant parts of the wider efforts we're making to help continue being London's strong, green heartbeat, cleaning London's air and helping get Londoners around the city in the greenest ways possible.'

The Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance said:

'The Mayor and TfL are taking bold action to tackle London's toxic air and to help ensure London hits its target of achieving net zero carbon by 2030 - and London's taxi trade are supporting this goal by switching to cleaner, greener taxis for the benefit of London.

'We've seen an impressive increase in electric vehicle uptake over the last year. I'm proud to celebrate the fact that more than half of London's taxi fleet is now zero-emission capable.

'The Mayor and I will continue working with councils, the Government and the private sector to build upon the infrastructure we have in the capital to help build a better, fairer, greener London for everyone.'

Alex Nan, CEO of LEVC, said: 

'With more than half the black cabs on London's streets now zero emission capable thanks to the iconic TX, today represents another momentous milestone for LEVC. We would like to thank London's famous black cab drivers, who have been instrumental in this achievement.

'Since its launch, the TX has delivered an unrivalled sustainable mobility solution. Globally the TX has saved an incredible 200,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, with London leading the way in helping us to achieve that. But there is always more that we can do. Other cities can learn from London's world-leading approach, improving air quality throughout urban settings, to the benefit of the public and the environment.

'LEVC is committed to working alongside policymakers to demonstrate the positive impact that the TX is having in our cities, as we seek to continue building a greener and more accessible transport network better suited for all.'

Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association said:

'London's licensed taxi drivers are leading the way in cleaning up the capital's air. The self-employed drivers we represent have invested more than £500 million in these fantastic zero emission vehicles and continue to invest at record levels.

'Our members take great pride in driving these clean, green vehicles and passengers enjoy travelling in them. With continued financial support and further investment in rapid charging infrastructure, cabbies will keep working towards a fully zero-emission fleet, whilst providing the same high-quality, reliable, accessible service London's taxis are known for.'

Oliver Lord, UK Head of Clean Cities Campaign, said:

'We should be proud of London's cabbies for showing us that change can happen. I hope every level of government and industry will continue to support our taxi trade to ditch diesel as soon as possible. Who can argue with cleaner air, quieter streets and more climate friendly journeys? London's electric revolution is racing ahead with our cabbies at the helm.'

Notes to editors:
[1] As of 30 May 2023, there were 7,041 ZEC taxis in London and by 28 November 2023 this had increased to 7,972

[2] Percentage of NOx emissions from taxis in central London derived from data in file "Emissions - Data - Excel Files" under the Grid Emissions Summary section of the following webpage: London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (LAEI) 2019 - London Datastore.

[3] Data on London's bus C02 emissions in comparison to other cities is reported here:

As of 3 December 2023, there are 14,690 licensed taxis in London. Data on London's taxi fleet is here:   

To meet the PHV ZEC requirements a vehicle must: 

  • Emit no more than 50g/km CO2 and be capable of being operated with no (zero) exhaust emissions for a minimum range of 10 miles (16.093 km); or 
  • Emit no more than 75g/km CO2 exhaust emissions and be capable of being operated with no (zero) emissions for a minimum range of 20 miles (32.187 km) 

As a minimum, the vehicle must meet the Euro 6 emissions standard if an internal combustion engine is part of the vehicle specification (i.e. hybrid vehicles) 

In August, TfL announced that London had more than one thousand zero emission buses:  
LEVC's TX model becomes the most popular taxi model in London: 

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