June 7, 2022 8.00 am

Switching to electric vehicles out of the question, taxi drivers claim

‘Sky high’ electricity prices and lack of charging points are causing problems

By Local Democracy Reporter

A lack of charging points and unaffordable prices are putting off taxi drivers from going green.

Several firms in North Kesteven have been asked if they were considering switching to alternative fuel vehicles, such as electric or hybrid.

However, they all consider the options to be too expensive, and say it’s currently impractical in rural Lincolnshire.

One driver said she wouldn’t be switching any time soon as “the cost of purchasing an AFV would take years to pay back, and this would not be financially viable”.

“The cost of electricty is going sky high, so the long-term benefits are shrinking.”

Batteries for electric vehicles cost about £4,000 and need to be replaced every 100,000 miles.

She was also concerned about a lack of garages who knew how to repair them, and available batteries.

“I have seen some drivers in other parts of the country off the road for weeks due to no batteries in the country,” she told North Kesteven District Council in the consultation.

Electric charging points are ‘too few and far in between’ in Lincolnshire. | Photo: Pixabay

Another taxi owner said he had done plenty of research, including test driving several electric vehicles, but claimed: “The driving range advertised by manufacturers is difficult to achieve in real world conditions.”

He also found alternative fuel vehicles tended to be smaller, and didn’t have the luggage or foot space passengers wanted.

“For myself, who tends to do longer journeys with larger numbers of passengers, there isn’t an AFV on the market yet that would meet my needs. However, it might make more sense for a private hire or hackney operator who specialised in more local trips,” he said.

The lack of charging points spaced across Lincolnshire was another common complaint, particularly in rural areas.

There were calls for taxi-only charging points to be put in to deal with over-subscription.

The council report says a lack of interest means it will have to revisit the topic in the future.