Hackney cab drivers are able to trial new electric vehicles as part of Nottingham City Council’s ambitious plans to offer the cleanest, greenest fleet in the country.
Under the council’s Taxi Strategy, all hackney cabs licensed from 2020 must be at least Euro 6 emissions standard, and from 2025 only Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) will be registered.
The council bought the three vehicles following a successful bid to the government’s Early Measures Fund, which supports activities aimed at reducing air pollution in the shortest possible time. Drivers will be able to loan the taxis for 12 days at a time.
The council is also investing £700,000 of funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles to install rapid charge points across the city. Drivers can also take advantage of a free government plug-in grant worth £7,500.
Read our FAQs below
Are you a hackney carriage driver?
How much will the trial cost?
£50 rental for 12 days plus a £100 deposit which will be fully refunded if the vehicle is returned in satisfactory condition. The vehicle will be checked before it is signed out and again once it is signed in.
How long will be trial last?
The trial will last 12 calendar days. Taxi Licensing will issue the vehicles on a Wednesday (day 1) and expect the vehicle to be returned on the following Monday (day 12). This will give participants two full weekends of use.
What about insurance?
Vehicles will be insured through Collingwood Insurance, which will cover drivers for both “hire and reward” and “public liability” insurance. For insurance eligibility, participants:
- must hold a full clean driving licence,
- be a minimum of 25 years of age, and
- will need to contribute £250 towards the Excess on the policy should any accident occur.
How do I sign up for the trial?
From Tuesday 16 October 2018, the Council is inviting Expressions of Interest from local taxi drivers to sign up to the trial. The first vehicle trial is expected to start in November 2018 once some outstanding details are finalised. The online form can be found here.
Can I extend the trial?
No. The trial agreement is for 12 calendar days and the vehicle will need to be returned on the 12th day.
Where do I pick up/return the trial vehicle?
Participants can collect and return the vehicle from the Taxi Licensing office, Eastroft Depot between the hours of 9am-5pm on a Monday (return only) and Wednesday (collection only).
What if I want to hire the vehicle again?
As there are over 400 drivers to support through the trial, new participants will be prioritised to ensure everyone who wants access to the vehicle is supported.
Can I lease the vehicle from the Council long term?
Funding to support this trial has been provided for this basis – short term (12 day) trial only. The Council is exploring options around whether longer term hire or taxi leasing can be provided however these details are not confirmed.
What vehicles can I access during the trial?
The trial vehicles are all London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) taxis. They are the TX5 Range Extended Electric Vista Plus specification. More details here
Can I use my existing cab during the trial?
No. As the Council operate a cap on the number of Hackney Carriage licences, the participants vehicle will have to be given to Taxi Licencing at Eastcroft Depot for safe storage whilst the trial vehicle is assigned. Vehicles will be handed back at the end of the trial.
What happens once I’ve submitted my Expression of Interest form?
Broadly, the scheme will operate as follows:
- Participants Expression of Interest forms passed to Taxi Licensing for verification.
- Once driver details are verified, the requests will be passed onto Drive Electric who will follow up with the participant (some driver checks will be carried out as any kind of vehicle rental needs legal checks). These checks will be explained to the participant at the time.
- £50 payment is made by the participant and booking is confirmed. Rental agreement alongside supporting information is issued to the participant by Drive Electric
- Participant signs and returns the Rental Agreement.
- Participant reports to Taxi Licensing on their specified date to collect the trial vehicle and pay the £100 deposit.
- Vehicle handover.
- After 12 days, participant to hand vehicle back to Taxi Licensing.
- Vehicle checks. £100 deposit is returned to the participant.
Who are Drive Electric and what is their role?
Drive Electric are the Council’s contracted try before you buy scheme provider and specialise in electric vehicle leasing. Drive Electric will be issuing the Rental Agreement and collecting the £50 rental fee from participants on the Council’s behalf. They will be working closely with Taxi Licensing to ensure the appropriate checks take place.
What is the battery range of the vehicle?
LEVC’s website quotes a battery range of 80 miles, with the petrol tank offering an extended range of 377 miles.
How do I charge the vehicle?
The vehicle’s battery can be charged using a fast (7kW, 22kW or 50kW) charge point however it is recommended the trial vehicle is charged using a 50kW rapid charger.
What if I run out of charge during a shift?
Keep driving. The vehicle can also be driven in “petrol mode” if the electric battery has been depleted.
Where can I charge the vehicle?
The Council is investing in a network of 230 rapid and fast chargers across the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire area, using Chargemaster units. There are now 45 charge points already available, five of which are 50kW rapid chargers. More information is available at:
For the purposes of the trial, participants are encouraged to utilise the public charge point network. A complementary £20 charge point card will be provided to each participant to charge up on the go. Home charging provision is still being explored as we are aware some participants may have home charging facilities.
Additional funding has been secured to provide dedicated taxi only charge points, which will be provided in city centre locations and key destinations. Planning for this work is still ongoing.
How long will it take to charge the vehicle?
From empty it will take 45 minutes to an hour to fully charge on a 50kW rapid charger.
How do I operate the vehicle?
A full handover will be provided to participants before you take the vehicle out. A supplementary drivers pack will be provided with handouts on how the vehicle works alongside a smartphone App and links to training videos that explain how the vehicle work in more detail.
What if there is an emergency or I breakdown?
In emergency circumstances, the vehicle comes with full RAC breakdown cover. Aftercare and out of hours support are being finalised by the Council but will be in place in time for the trial.
Who do I contact if I want to find out more about the trial?