Electric taxis hailed as success by Portsmouth climate activists as EV vehicles become more common on roads

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The rise of electric taxis in Portsmouth has been praised by an environmentalist group – but the activists say that more still needs to be done.

Portsmouth Climate Action (PCA) believes the city has a brighter future after spotting several EV vehicles on the roads. It comes after new electric buses were rolled out in the city earlier this month, alongside some Tesla model taxis.

A spokesperson for the group told The News: “There are a number of reasons why [electric taxis] are important, firstly it reduces air pollution and nitrogen dioxide, helping the environment. The more taxi drivers who go green the better.”

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The first of the 62 new electric buses are out on the roads in the Portsmouth area. Picture: Mike CooterThe first of the 62 new electric buses are out on the roads in the Portsmouth area. Picture: Mike Cooter
The first of the 62 new electric buses are out on the roads in the Portsmouth area. Picture: Mike Cooter

The taxis, operated by Uber, will reduce the city’s carbon footprint by producing less emissions. Data from Portsmouth City Council shows 33 per cent of the city’s carbon emissions is produced from transport. PCA said it hopes to see more EV taxis introduced.

The goup also believes this will help reduce passenger fares thanks to lower running costs. PCA is calling for more action to reduce licences for drivers of electric vehicles, to incentivise people to go green. It added that electric vehicle charging infrastructure needs to be improved.

PCA said: “It would be good if they (the council) could reduce the fare for electrical vehicles to make it more attractive and the charging infrastructure is still pretty poor.“

A spokesperson for Portsmouth city council added: “The Licensing Committee reviews all its fees and charges annually. It's necessary to ensure that any licensing fees cover the costs associated with the licensing regime, so it would be at the discretion of the members of the Committee as to how to apportion those costs with regard to any proposals from interested groups.

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The council is also exploring various options to support drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles in switching to electric vehicles, including six more rapid chargers planned specifically for taxi and private hire use. Last year, we also consulted with people on our forthcoming Electric Vehicle Infrastructure strategy, which included an objective to 'support fleet conversion to EV through providing supporting infrastructure to meet their needs'. This will look to provide the necessary infrastructure to meet the need of fleet conversion to electric, including taxis."

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