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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article11 January 20192 min read

A new guide to cutting emissions from taxis and private hire vehicles has been published

A new guide has been published in the UK by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) and Energy Saving Trust (EST) that provides guidance to operators and local authorities on ways to reduce road transport emissions from taxis and private hire vehicles.

Currently there are more than 290,000 licenced taxi and private hire vehicles across England and Wales, and 23,000 in Scotland. The average traditional UK black taxi is 12 years old and so these older vehicles are experiencing ever-greater scrutiny by licensing bodies and authorities due to the high level of emissions they produce. Encouraging a transition to newer, low emission vehicle types within city centres is essential to improve urban air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with national targets.

The Low Emission Taxi Guide provides:

  • An overview of the current structure of the taxi and private hire vehicle market and its impact on pollution
  • A clear overview of the current national and local policy picture in place to reduce road transport emissions, including the Government’s recently published ‘Road to Zero’ strategy and the imminent introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone
  • Information on the range of latest low emission vehicle technologies and fuels available for taxi/private hire vehicle operators including: battery electric; extended range and plug-in hybrid; hydrogen; liquefied petroleum gas (lpg) and cleaner diesel and petrol variants
  • Information on available retrofit options for converting existing vehicles
  • Details of local policy case studies
  • Guidance of implementing best practice policy measures, initiatives and incentives to advance clean and low carbon taxi and private hire vehicle take. This includes a ‘menu’ of potential local policy measures and initiatives, and key elements to consider before making any policy changes
  • Guidance for operators in understanding and complying with licensing policies and other local policy initiatives designed to bettering air quality
  • Guidance on how to help local authorities adhere to legal air quality standards
  • Guidance on the installation of local recharging networks for electric vehicles

LowCVP’s Head of Projects, Gloria Esposito, stated: “Our current fleet of ageing taxis and private hire vehicles risks holding back the efforts to improve air quality. Accelerating the introduction of low emission taxis is a great opportunity to help clean up urban air, particularly in congested high traffic areas, while supporting innovative UK industries. This guide complements our low emission bus and van guides and is designed to help local authorities and drivers understand the best ways to make this change happen. As clean air zones are introduced, low emission taxis will provide a highly effective and ultra-clean transport solution for the widest variety of users and can play a major role in a truly low emission transport system.”

An introductory workshop will take place on the 14th of January, hosted by Birmingham City Council. The guide will be presented to local authorities and operator associations, outlining the range of low emission taxi technologies and fuels available and allowing participants to learn from specialists and practitioners in the provision of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Visit their website here.

The Low Emission Taxi guide can be downloaded (for free) here.

Article published on 17th December 2018 by air quality news.



Publication date
11 January 2019
  • Clean and energy-efficient vehicles
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • United Kingdom