Electric taxis to get Square Mile charging boost

More electric vehicle rapid charge points could be installed to encourage the take-up of electric taxis to help improve air quality in the Square Mile, at the heart of the city of London.

Plans to develop a strategy for electric vehicle charging are to be considered at a meeting of the City of London Corporation’s Port Health and Environmental Services Board later today.

City of London Corporation is to consider proposals to encourage uptake of electric taxis

Councillors are also set to approve the installation of eight rapid charge points for taxis at Baynard House car park, near Blackfriars Station.

According to documents published ahead of the meeting, City of London currently provides around 50 electric vehicle charging points, most of which are 7kW outlets which take around four hours to deliver a full charge.

Rapid charging points – which would only be accessible for use by taxis – are also proposed, with a future option for these to be available to commercial vehicles. The authority is proposing to limit use of these points only to vehicles that have business in the area, in order not to encourage additional vehicle movements.

Air quality

In the documents, the authority’s Transportation team notes: “The City of London Corporation recognises the need to improve air quality for those living and working in the City. National health based limits for exposure to the pollutants nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and small particles (PM10) are not being met in the City. The whole of the Square Mile has been declared an Air Quality Management Area and air quality improvement is one of the key policies in the Corporate Plan.

“Air Quality is also on the Corporate Risk Register as a ‘red’ risk. The City Corporation supported the Mayor’s proposal to introduce the ULEZ at an earlier date of April 2019, provided that a certified retrofit system is in place to allow heavy vehicles to be fitted and tested for Euro VI compliance. The Transport Co-ordinating Group is working to ensure the City’s fleet is ready to meet the requirements for ULEZ.”

The report adds that the Corporation recognises the need to reduce traffic, and reduce emissions from remaining vehicles in order to improve air quality, and that the number and location of charge points will aim to meet the needs of vehicles accessing and serving the Square Mile.

It adds: “The installation of charge points will be supported by other measures to encourage the transition to ULEVs for taxis, freight and servicing vehicles. These could include ULEV only taxi rest bays and ranks and on-street loading bays.

“This policy will be kept under review as the ULEV market and charging technology develops.”