Letter to Boris: Electric taxis in London
09/10/11 19:02 Filed in: cycling
I thought I'd send a letter to Boris Johnson putting forward the idea of introducing electric taxis in London. Here it is:
Dear Mr Johnson,
Have you thought of gradually changing the taxis in London into electric or hydrogen vehicles?
London is a wonderful and vibrant city but it does suffer from air pollution problems. Although it is difficult to make private cars switch to more environmentally forms of propulsion, such as hydrogen and batteries, I think it could be possible with taxis. There are a lot of taxis in London and they travel a lot of miles but they work almost entirely in a relatively small area compared to many private cars. If a number of electric or hydrogen recharge/refill stations were set up in Greater London, it would be easy for taxis to top up during their working day. Simply install a recharge point by major taxi ranks. The taxis wouldn't even have to stop just to recharge. They could recharge while they queued for customers.
If such a scheme went ahead, it wouldn't make sense to force all taxi drivers to use the system immediately. This would be unfair on the investment the taxi drivers have made in their vehicles but it could be phased in. Once the charging points were installed and a subsidy offered on new electric or hydrogen taxis (whichever system was chosen), I think many taxi drivers would sign up. They would see the ease of use, the health benefits to themselves and other Londoners and the likelihood that many Londoners would choose an electric/hydrogen taxi over a diesel one. Everybody would benefit. What do you think?
After sending off the email to the Mayor of London, I then spotted this article on londonblacktaxi.net. Looks like someone's already doing that in a small way for the 2012 Olympics. Hopefully, it'll be a big success!