A black cabs boss has said that it is 'essential' for the Government to extend grants for electric taxis. These grants, worth up to £7,500, help drivers buy new electric taxis instead of keeping older, more polluting vehicles.
MyLondon reports that Steve McNamara, the head of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association (LTDA), warned that without these discounts, a new electric taxi could cost as much as £110,000.
He told PA news agency: "This would be absolutely disastrous because taxi drivers thinking of buying a new vehicle will try to hang on to old vehicles".
"It's bad for us, it's bad for London and it's got to be bad for the Government."
He also questioned if the Government was willing to invest in maintaining the quality of the cab service. Since 2018, new taxis in London have had to be able to travel certain distances using only electric power.
The latest numbers from Transport for London show that 56% of the 14,750 taxis in London as of February 4 were electric.
Mr McNamara said giving more money to help buy electric taxis is good for everyone. He mentioned that taking diesel cars off the road "improves air quality for everybody", drivers get a bit of help buying them, and riders get to use modern, wheelchair-friendly cars.
LEVC TX taxis are made in Ansty, Warwickshire, by the London Electric Vehicle Company, which is owned by the Chinese company Geely.
Mr McNamara said he was worried that if fewer people want these vehicles, the factory's future could be in danger.
He asked: "Are the Chinese going to keep pumping money into it or are they going to pull the factory?
"Are they going to shift production to China? They're obviously going to be looking at all of those things.
"That decision process is not going to be helped if the Government withdraws the Plug-in Taxi Grant."
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "We're committed to supporting the switch to electric, and through this grant we have provided over £50 million to support the purchase of 7,000 zero emission-capable taxis to date."
"The grant is committed until the end of this financial year, and as always it remains under continual review."