Half of London’s black cab fleet is now made up of zero-emission vehicles, manufacturer LEVC and Transport for London (TfL) announced. Of the 14,690 licensed taxis in the capital, 7,972 are battery electric vehicles (BEVs), with most manufactured by Geely’s LEVC, according to the latest figures. The number of those models grew a fairly dramatic 10 percent in the last month alone.
“Reaching this milestone is a great reflection of how London is working hard to be a greener, more sustainable, environmentally friendly city,” said TfL’s Helen Chapman. “London’s black taxis are recognized worldwide and we are proud to see that so many drivers are helping clean up the air.”
New drivers haven’t had a choice in the matter, though, as since 2018, TfL has required that all new cabs licensed in the city be zero emissions cable (the rule was extended to private minicabs last year). Cabbies with existing licenses have been motivated to change, too, as any still using less efficient vehicles have been required since 2020 to pay a daily rate (now £12.50) to operate in central London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone.
Many of London’s larger taxi and minicab operators have committed to fully-electric fleets by 2025. That includes the city’s largest operator, Addison Lee (which uses VW ID 4s) saying it would reach that goal by 2023. London’s Black Cabs are generally independently owned and licensed under strict rules by TfL. Uber recently announced that London’s black taxis would be listed on its app and while some drivers have signed up, many decried the plan.
This article originally appeared on Engadget at