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Electric avenue best route for taxi firms

17 October 2019

An initiative in the borough of Rochdale has shown huge cost savings await taxi firms that switch to electric vehicles.

Rochdale Borough Council's licensing team engaged the services of Electric Blue to understand the practical and financial impact of introducing electric vehicles to the private hire and taxi trade.

Drivers at 3 private hire operators and 5 independent taxi proprietors took part in the EVolve project. Their vehicles were fitted with telematics devices for one month which captured their routes and stopping points and calculated the running costs of their current vehicles.

The results showed that drivers would save almost 66% on their current running costs by converting to an electric vehicle. On average their costs would reduce from £6,188 to £2,201 if they switched to an electric vehicle and the saving would generate an extra £45,000 income across 21 vehicles.

The results also showed that 99.9% of all shifts could be completed in an electric vehicle with just one rapid charge top up for less than 30 minutes needed.

Michael Hare, owner of Middleton Cars and participant in the project, said: "The industry is going towards electric so we were keen to take this opportunity to find out what the future might look like for us and the reductions in running costs look really promising.

"We've got 38 cars so the cost of purchasing electric vehicles is a current barrier. We've already got a few hybrids and we need the whole industry to get on board with electric so the range of vehicles improves and vehicle prices come down."

The analysis was conducted as part of the council's commitment to improving the environment and air quality, making the borough a cleaner place to work and live. The borough is working with other Greater Manchester local authorities to reduce air pollution and emissions from transport through the development of the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan.

Councillor Sara Rowbotham, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "We know that switching to electric vehicles will have a huge impact on our air quality and wider environment.

"It's great that this analysis has shown substantial benefits for businesses in making the switch and that the long term benefits will be felt by those in the trade for years to come. Our region now needs to see the right financial support from central government to support all taxi drivers to make changes in the coming years."

Individual reports have been provided to the firms that took part to demonstrate the feasibility of converting to electric and ultra-low emission vehicles.

  • To find out more about Greater Manchester's proposals to clean up the air, and how the public and businesses can play their part, visit the Clean Air GM website.