Taxi drivers could be forced to buy new electric cars to meet Nottingham City Council’s low emission targets. The scheme will impact on private hire and hackney cabs across the city if it is introduced by 2020.

Nottingham City Council has applied to The Office for Low Emission Vehicles for £20m in funding to become England’s leading low carbon transport city.

The bid aims for all licensed taxis and twenty-five percent of private hire vehicles to be ultra-low in emissions.

Uber, a new app-based service allowing customers to book cheap rides,  is a major competitor for traditional taxis and was introduced to Nottingham last Friday (Nov 6).

Uber drivers will also be required to comply with the scheme.

Uber driver Mujtaba Shah explains the benefits of Uber.

Uber Logo

There has been no guidance so far from the council as to who would pay to replace existing vehicles with cabs which are more environmentally friendly.

Drivers are worried they will have to cover the cost.

“It depends, how much does it cost?”

Nottingham Uber driver Mujtaba Shah says he is worried about the price tag that comes with it. “It depends, how much does it cost?”

The driver says he likes the idea since he already owns a Toyota Prius, which is low on emissions, but added: “They can’t do that with everyone.”

Kerry Perruzza, for Nottingham City Council, said: “The choice will be made by owners, based on their own decision to go electric and take advantage of the support that is being offered to them.”

The council has yet to clarify what support may be given to drivers.

Taxis have lost about half of their business to Uber and the amount has been steadily increasing across nationally, according to statistics company Certify.

  • 62,754 private hire cars in London this year
  • Up from 49,854 in 2013
    According to the Department for Transport

The low emission initiative will also require licensed cabs to be replaced every five years.

A city centre low emission zone, and a ‘no idling’ campaign will also be part of the strategy if it goes ahead. For more information on the bid, read here.

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