Oxford City Council installs Oxford’s first rapid charging points for taxis

Published: Wednesday, 16th October 2019

The first rapid electric taxi charging points in Oxford have been installed at Manzil Way Gardens in East Oxford.

The installation of the chargers is part of plans to install up to 19 electric vehicle points for taxis in order to support the trade in phasing out polluting vehicles and replace their vehicles with Ultra Low Emission taxis.

The two chargers provide four rapid charge points, to enable Oxford Licensed Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers to quickly charge their car batteries during breaks. The site is conveniently located, allowing operators to charge while visiting Oxford Central Mosque, the Manzil Way Health Centre or local businesses.

The installation was delivered by Electric Blue working with Oxford Direct Services and ElectAssure. Electric Blue will also operate the charge points for the local taxi trade.

The chargers will be decorated with artwork from Oxford Artist, Andrew “Mani” Manson showing The Plain and Gloucester Green market.

To ensure the charging bays won’t be used incorrectly as parking bays, the site has been equipped with IBay charging sensors.

Any vehicle parked without charging will trigger an enforcement request to Excel parking, who will ensure that the site is only used by charging EV taxis licensed in Oxford, and eligible EV permit holders.

The Go Ultra Low project is funded by the Office of Low Emission Vehicles, Oxford City Council and Private Investment, and delivered in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council. The project will see taxi rapid chargers installed across the city to support taxi drivers in phasing out polluting vehicles and replace them with Ultra Low Emission taxis.

Oxford City Council was awarded £370,000 of funding from the Government’s Office for Low Emissions Vehicles for the overall project.

Earlier this year Oxford City Council licensed its first fully electric private hire vehicle – a Tesla Model X - with Vert2Go, and in April this year the first zero emission capable hackney carriage - the TX - arrived on the streets of Oxford. Later this month, Oxford’s largest Private Hire Operator, Royal Taxis will have a fully electric fleet vehicle - a Tesla  – joining their fleet.

Oxford City Council will be providing Early Adopter Funding Support to the first 10 adopters of Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) private hire vehicles, and the first 10 adopters of ULEV Hackney Carriage vehicles that are licensed by the City Council.

Earlier this year, Oxford City Council, and Oxfordshire County Council published updated proposals for a Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) in Oxford city centre. The aim of the ZEZ is to tackle Oxford’s toxic air pollution and protect the health of everyone who lives in, works in and visits the city. It is also expected that the ZEZ will improve air pollution levels across Oxfordshire because the buses and taxis that serve Oxford also serve towns and villages across the county.

New data from the Oxford City Council’s 72 air pollution monitoring locations has shown that levels of toxic nitrogen dioxide (NO2) fell by an average of 0.23% between 2017 and 2018 –a starkly slower rate in comparison to the 22.7% decrease between 2016 and 2017.  It is thought that another steep decline in air pollution may not occur without a further upgrade in the city’s vehicles to cleaner technology. However, future data will be needed to understand whether the plateauing is a trend.

“Oxford is installing more and more electric vehicle chargers to make our Zero Emission Zone a practical reality, and I’m thrilled by the installation of our newest chargers in the recently revamped Manzil Way. Nobody wants boring landmarks scarring their community, alien to the place they’re based, so we’ve given our rapid chargers a splash of colour with distinctively East Oxford artwork. Not only will drivers be able to rapidly charge their cabs in places they’re routinely around, they‘ll also be able to use their downtime to buy a coffee or lunch, and fuel the local economy in the process. I’m sure the convenient location and rapid charging potential of our new Manzil Way chargers will encourage many more taxi drivers to go electric.”

Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford