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TfL Now Only Licences Plug-In Hybrid and 100% Electric Vehicles.

Transport for London (TfL) is the local government body responsible for the transport system in Greater London, including the taxi and private hire industry (PCO Drivers covering Uber, Bolt, Ola, FreeNow, Addison Lee etc). As part of its efforts to improve air quality in the city, TfL has announced that starting 1 January 2022, all private hire vehicles licensed for the first time must be zero-emission capable. This means they must be either fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles with the ability to emit zero emissions.

The previous requirement, implemented in 2020, only applied to vehicles under 18 months old and licensed for the first time. As a result of this change, 25% of private hire vehicles in London are now zero-emission capable, including 6,000 black cabs.

TfL hopes that by requiring all new private hire vehicles to be zero-emission capable, it will be able to significantly reduce carbon dioxide and toxic emissions, which are a major contributor to global warming.

Drivers of zero-emission vehicles will also benefit from cheaper fuel costs, as 100% electric vehicles are less expensive to operate than petrol or diesel vehicles. In 2022, it was reported that a 100% electric car was 3.4 times cheaper to run than an average petrol car. In addition, TfL has introduced the Cleaner Vehicle Discount, which replaces the Ultra Low Emission Discount (ULED). It allows drivers with EVs to avoid paying the Congestion Charge until 25 December 2025. The discount is not automatic and can be applied for through the Transport for London website.

TfL has been working with the private hire industry to prepare for this change for the past seven years. It has ensured that there is a sufficient network of charging points available in London, with over 11,000 charging points currently in place, and has made public land available for the construction of additional charging points. 800 of these 11,000 charging points are fast or ultra-rapid, meaning they can fully charge an EV in less than half an hour. TfL is also working to ensure that fast charging points are being built at a sufficient pace to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles. Its goal for 2030 is to have 40,000 more charging points in the capital, with 4,000 of these being rapid charging points.

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