Getting An Electric Taxi for Your Business: A Guide

Getting An Electric Taxi for Your Business: A Guide

Electric taxi insurance provides protection for EV vehicles on London's roads.

New developments and technologies within the electrical vehicle (EV) space have encouraged many taxi operators to choose EV for their business. Investing in an electric taxi can improve air quality within cities as well as contribute towards achieving net zero emissions.  

While EVs can be a reliable option for improving sustainability, there is still a reluctance by some drivers and fleet companies to switch. Reports of high electric taxi insurance costs, low electric taxi range and lack of charging points have prevented many from taking up EVs as their main mode of transportation. 

Electric vehicles are definitely gaining momentum, but how does owning one affect you as a taxi driver? Here, we take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of using EVs as electric cabs.  

Using an Electric Car as a Taxi? 

Companies such as Uber have been using EVs in their fleets for many years, while London now has more electric black cabs than diesel powered ones for the first time. There are more than 6,000 fully electric black cabs in London’s taxi fleet to help support London’s net zero focus. 

As manufacturers continue to develop new electric vehicles with powerful batteries for longer range driving, it seems clear that electric vehicles are here to stay, and it is only a matter of time before many more motorists make the switch.  

Thankfully, there are plenty of electric vehicles to choose from including models from manufacturers including Nissan, Kia, Hyundai, Toyota and levc vehicles, with more being introduced on a regular basis. 

The benefits of electric taxi vehicles include: 

  • A smoother driving experience for passengers 
  • Reduced road tax cost 
  • Rapid and easy charging at over 15,000 points nationwide 
  • Reduced fuel bills 
  • A sustainable travel option for customers 
  • Lower air pollution, supporting the health of drivers, passengers and local residents 


Electric Taxi Range: How Reliable are Electric Taxis? 

An electric taxi contains a battery-powered electric engine which needs recharging as the battery depletes. EVs have a faster acceleration than most combustion engines and have a high performance for both brake horsepower (BHP) and mileage. Electric taxis are also reported to offer a much smoother and quieter ride than conventional vehicles. 

Unlike earlier models, more powerful batteries mean an average electric taxi range of 200 miles on a single charge, while some higher-end EVs can even reach 400 miles thanks to more advanced technology. Electric taxis should only need to be topped up on longer journeys, though battery longevity is enhanced with regular charges. 

An increase in EVs on the road also means an improvement to public charging availability, as well as government grants to help towards the cost of installing a charge point at your home or workplace. 

Charging times of your EV will vary depending on the size of your vehicle’s battery and the charging source you use. Using a slower charger (such as one at your home) can take up to 10 hours, while fast chargers can be between three and four hours. Rapid chargers are able to be used on certain EVs and can take as little as 30 minutes. 

Environmental Benefits 

Electric taxis are undoubtedly better for the environment. With a lack of the harmful environmental emissions found with traditional combustion engines, they will have a huge impact on the ability to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint. 

According to the Department for Transport, taxis currently account for 4 percent of the UK’s domestic transport greenhouse gas emissions despite accounting for only 0.93% of all registered cars. 

Are Electric Taxis More Expensive? 

The price you pay will of course depend on the make and model. Overall, EVs can be a higher investment price but should help you to save money in the future.  

The Government’s plug-in taxi grant (PiTG) is available to help towards the costs of a new electric taxi, while running costs are cheaper and there is zero road tax. Public charging can be reasonably cheap (if not free), and there are a variety of home charging options to give you lower tariff rates. Either way, charging is significantly cheaper than filling up at the pump.  

According to LEVC, making the switch to an electric taxi could save you up to £110 a week in fuel costs. An EV will also automatically make you exempt from the £12.50 ULEZ charge and £15 Congestion Charge, allowing London electric vehicle companies to operate without any additional costs.  

Is Electric Taxi Insurance More Expensive? 

Here are a few reasons why electric taxi insurance may need a higher investment. Keep in mind though, as more EVs arrive on our roads, polices are being regularly assessed to better meet the needs of electric taxi drivers. 

  • In general, if you invest in a more expensive vehicle then, like all insurance, your premium will be increased as your vehicle will be in a higher insurance group.  
  • Electric cars also contain intricate and advanced technology, including high-capacity batteries and complex electrical systems. These specialist parts can be more expensive to repair compared to their conventional counterparts, leading to a slightly increased electric taxi insurance premium.  
  • The availability of specialist technicians and repair facilities for electric vehicles are still fairly limited compared to conventional garages and workshops. This may increase the costs for insurers as they could have a smaller network to rely on.  

On a more positive note, electric cars often have some of the best safety features too, and this is seen as a good thing when it comes to the cost of your electric taxi insurance.  

In addition, electric taxis and EVs in general are now becoming far more common on the roads as people realise the positive contribution that can be made both towards the nation’s health and the world’s climate problem.  

As electric taxis increase in popularity, insurance brokers are constantly reassessing their pricing models to reflect current markets. As electric vehicles become more mainstream, electric taxi insurance premiums are likely to be much more comparable to diesel taxis. 

It is also useful to remember that premiums are also dependent on many other factors too including your age, experience, postcode, and no claims bonus.  

Additional Cover for Electric Taxis 

Electric taxi insurance cover will vary depending on the provider. In addition to your road risks policy, there are a few specific areas to look out for when choosing electric taxi insurance for your business. The main additional areas you’ll want to consider for your policy include: 

  • One common optional extra level of cover for electric cars is public liability cover, which would insure you if somebody tripped over your charging cable. It might seem trivial, but a personal injury claim made against you could end up being costly. 
  • As with standard car insurance, there should be some level of windscreen and breakdown cover for electric cars. Many companies have now trained their mechanics to offer electric car owners the same level of breakdown assistance as those with petrol or diesel vehicles.  

All electric taxi insurance companies will vary in the premiums they offer, and it is important to compare several providers to get the best cover for your needs. Having a chat with your insurance broker could help to alleviate any concerns before you decide on whether to switch. 

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