Addison Lee EV

Addison Lee pledges to go all-electric from 2023

Image credit: Volkswagen

London-based cab company Addison Lee has pledged to operate only electric vehicles (EVs) in its fleet from 2023, two years ahead of rival Uber’s planned electrification.

Addison Lee said it is investing £160m in switching its 4,000 cars to EVs. This will require rolling out an average of 200 Volkswagen ID.4s – the company having already partnered with the German automaker – every month from this coming November. The commitment marks the single largest order of EVs in the UK’s private hire industry, the company said.

At present, it has 650 zero-emission taxis in its fleet, having purchased ComCab earlier this year.

“As the transport provider of choice for many businesses and passengers, we know that we play a critical role in London’s transport network,” said CEO Liam Griffin. “Over the years, we have invested in our vehicles and technology to ensure we do all we can to make London a greener place.

“We are now going even further, by partnering with Volkswagen to invest in a rapid transition to electric. In doing so, we can help more businesses reduce their carbon footprint and give passengers greater access to green, safe and premium transport options as life gets back to normal.”

He cited a survey undertaken by the company earlier this year, which found that 92 per cent of its business customers consider environmental credentials to be essential when selecting a ground transport provider.

The electrification push will be supported with a 'Future of Mobility' fund to provide £3.5m to support drivers with charging infrastructure; the cost of the Congestion Charge, and some community projects in London, such as installation of plant walls in primary schools.

Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, commented: “As we continue working tirelessly to decarbonise our transport network, I am thrilled to see Addison Lee lead the way through pledging to electrify their fleet by 2023.

“This government has committed to reach net zero by 2050. With more than 500,000 EVs now on our roads and nearly 25,000 public charge points, we’re at the beginning of an EV revolution which will help create communities free from pollution, as well as supporting thousands of jobs in the supply chain over the coming decades.”

Uber, meanwhile, is planning to have an all-electric fleet in London by 2025. It is working with EV firm Arrival to manufacture vehicles “specifically designed for ride hailing”; these vehicles will enter production in 2023. The company has introduced a surcharge for passengers to help its drivers switch to EVs in the coming years.

For its part, the UK government has agreed to bring forward its phase-out of petrol and diesel cars. The sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be ended by 2030 and the sale of all new cars and vans must be fully zero emission from 2035. It is consulting on a 2040 date for electrification of HGVs.

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