In partnership with local authorities, Stoke-on-Trent City Council secured funding from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) Ultra-Low Emission Taxi Infrastructure scheme to implement 30 rapid chargepoints. The overarching goal was to drive the adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs), targeting 10% of the combined taxi fleets (about 261 vehicles) being ULEV by 2025. Cenex supported SWARCO and the local authority partners with trade engagement, promotion and analytics support to encourage the uptake of zero emission taxis and usage of the charging infrastructure.
Cenex took charge of community engagement and promotion for the charging network, offering a dedicated webpage with vital information on vehicle options, economic benefits, and the rationale for transitioning to electric vehicles. Cenex also crafted case studies highlighting successful BEV taxi operations. Furthermore, Cenex conducted interviews with trade operators to discern key barriers, enriching the planning for licencing authorities. Educational webinars were also held to bolster understanding.
Several significant insights emerged through focused engagement with 29 taxi operators in North Staffordshire. The foremost considerations for drivers were capital cost, vehicle age, and fuel efficiency. Key conclusions drawn from this were:
- 83% of drivers interviewed own their vehicles.
- 57% of those interviewed had either low or zero knowledge of EV taxis.
- 50% of drivers would consider an EV for their next vehicle.
- Several drivers dismissed the idea of owning an electric vehicle due to having no opportunity to install a home charger (e.g., no driveway, rental property).
- The main perceived barriers to adopting EV taxis are purchase price, vehicle range and battery reliability.
- The most helpful incentives to encourage EV uptake were low-cost leasing options, dedicated taxi charging infrastructure and a factsheet with a detailed cost breakdown compared to diesel.