Sheffield City Council is launching a trial scheme to give local taxi drivers the chance to experience an electric taxi. Eight London Electric Vehicle Company hybrid-electric black cabs will be available for two weeks.
All the electric taxis are wheelchair accessible and are cleaner, greener and cheaper to run than their diesel predecessors. The council is working with taxi provider Sherbet, the winner in a competitive tender to deliver the scheme. Sherbet currently operates 500 electric taxis around the country.
Cllr Douglas Johnson, executive member for climate change, environment and transport, said: “Many taxis are older, polluting vehicles and that’s why the Clean Air Zone is about unlocking substantial grants so that taxi drivers can upgrade their vehicles to either Euro 6 or all-electric standards.”
He continued: “This electric taxi trial will really help drivers to decide on the best choice for their business. Electric taxis will complement other measures across the city to clean up the air and reduce carbon emissions from a vital and important part of Sheffield’s transport systems.”
The trial requires a deposit and £50 fee from each driver. During the length of the trial, the driver will receive £50 free charging at the council’s 10 taxi-only rapid charging points recently installed by Sheffield City Council. These will recharge the taxis to 80% in 45 minutes. The charging points are located in places convenient for taxi drivers, including near the Northern General hospital and Sheffield train station.
Sherbet founder Asher Moses (pictured) said: “We want to make it easy for Sheffield taxi drivers to switch from diesel to electric. Sherbet is set to now take the iconic London taxi to another level, continue to integrate with smart cities such as Sheffield and embrace the demand for clean, green, sustainable, and safe transport.”
The scheme is funded through the Government’s Early Measures Fund for reducing air pollution. The scheme was approved by Sheffield’s Cabinet in November 2020.
The scheme is open now for drivers licensed with Sheffield City Council, who can register their interest via sherbetsheffield.com.