London’s Iconic Black Cab Fleet Shifts to Electric Vehicles

Half of London’s black cab fleet is now made up of zero-emission vehicles, according to LEVC and Transport for London (TfL). Of the 14,690 licensed taxis in the capital, 7,972 are BEVs, with most manufactured by Geely’s LEVC. The number of those models grew 10 percent in the last month alone. TfL’s Helen Chapman said, “Reaching this milestone is a reflection of how London is working to be a greener, more sustainable, environmentally friendly city. London’s black taxis are recognized worldwide and we are proud to see that so many drivers are helping clean up the air.”

Since 2018, TfL has required all new cabs licensed in the city to be zero emissions vehicles, and the rule was extended to private minicabs last year. Cabbies with existing licenses have been motivated to change, as those 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 larger taxi and minicab operators have committed to fully-electric fleets by 2025, including the city’s largest operator, Addison Lee, which uses VW ID 4s and plans to reach that goal by 2023. London’s Black Cabs are 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 have criticized the plan.