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Non-Electric Private Hire Vehicles to get the Axe in Central London

Author: Sam Allibone


The Mayor and Transport for London have announced plans to further reduce emissions in the capital for cleaner, healthier air.

LEVC TX Electric Taxi

Taxis and other private hire vehicles, excluding zero emission vehicles, will no longer be exempt from the Congestion Charge in London as of April 8th 2019. After a public consultation with 10,000 people, it was decided that the Ultra Low Emission Discount will be slowly replaced with a Cleaner Vehicle Discount, encouraging only the cleanest vehicles on central London streets.

In October 2021 a second phase will be introduced, restricting the discount to solely electric vehicles, and in December 2025 the discount will expire altogether. Those vehicles that do not meet the Cleaner Vehicle Discount standard or are not wheelchair accessible will be subject to the congestion charge.

The changes will hopefully reduce high-emission private hire vehicles on London roads by 8,000 a day – good news considering taxis are responsible for 20% of harmful emissions in central London.

From January 2019 the reforms will also include a number of options for drivers to upgrade to cleaner vehicles. There will be a delicensing fund which will offer up to £10,000 to drivers who trade in an old high-emission vehicle, and £2.5 million will go towards helping Euro 5 taxi owners convert to LPG fuel – a cleaner alternative to diesel.

Currently, taxi drivers are eligible for a £7,500 grant when upgrading to an electric vehicle, of which 1,000 are already circling central London. This aids Sadiq Khan’s aim to reduce London emissions by 65% to protect the health of its residents.

"We have to make tough decisions to protect the health and wellbeing of Londoners and tackle harmful emissions from the most polluting vehicles" – Sadiq Khan, The Mayor of London.


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