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The road to a greener taxi sector in Europe is littered with challenges. Four members of the International Road Transport Union (IRU) from Germany, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom highlight the obstacles and necessary steps for a successful transition to net zero emissions.

Members of the IRU highlight several critical obstacles to carbon reduction. BVTM from Germany points out the significant uncertainties regarding electricity prices, financial support, charging infrastructure and vehicle costs. These factors create a precarious environment for taxi companies trying to go green, as they must balance environmental goals against economic risks. To limit these risks, emphasizes BVTM the need for governments to provide more robust support to companies investing in electric vehicles (EVs) and associated infrastructure.

KNV from the Netherlands echoes these concerns and emphasizes the scarcity of affordable, green vehicles with sufficient range. The sector is preparing for stricter regulations, including zero-emission clauses in procurement contracts and low-emission zones in major cities. These impending changes put pressure on the industry to adapt quickly while managing the economic viability of such transitions.

UNIT in France highlights the logistical and financial challenges that taxi drivers face every day. With drivers covering up to 500km per day, the vehicle's range is of paramount importance. Moreover, according to UNIT the lack of a robust charging network tailored to the needs of transportation professionals the progress. Taxi drivers often work long hours and require comfortable, spacious vehicles, which is an additional complicating factor. Cost remains a significant barrier as regulated pricing limits revenue flexibility and home charging can be impractical for many urban drivers.

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Identifies in the United Kingdom Veezu inadequate charging infrastructure as the fundamental barrier to carbon reduction. The existing network in cities and towns is often expensive, unavailable and insufficient, which discourages EV adoption. Rising costs and limited vehicle range exacerbate these problems, while the lack of suitable car models for taxi operations further complicates the situation.

Government policies must be clear and timely in Europe so that operators can plan future purchases.

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What is needed to green efficiently?

BVTM emphasizes the need for stability and reliability in the sector. Reliable electricity prices, financial support, charging infrastructure and affordable cars are essential. It is difficult to green efficiently given all the uncertainties.

KNV points out the need for realistic goals. Zero-emission vehicles are the future, but challenges remain that require our attention to transition efficiently. Charging capacity, both infrastructure and network capacity, is currently insufficient and technology must develop to enable greater range. Because vehicles are becoming heavier, it may be necessary to increase the weight limit of the B driving license. Finally, financial or fiscal incentives are needed to promote the transition. According to KNV will provide transparent communication with governments about what the sector can expect and when, reassuring operators and encouraging investment.

UNIT proposes to implement specific subsidies for taxi drivers, which would offset their current public service obligations. On the technical side, it is necessary to develop a special fast-charging network for taxis in cities. Alternatively, taxis should have facilitated access to slow charging, such as charging in collective residential buildings or specific reservations on public networks.

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Veezu emphasizes that an expanded charging infrastructure must include more charging points along highways and in cities. However, the costs of this should be regulated and correspond to the costs of household supply. With range being a key issue for the sector, there needs to be better information and a wider range of vehicles suitable for the taxi sector. Government policies should be clear and timely so operators can plan future purchases. Incentives, such as subsidies for purpose-built taxis, should be extended to private hire vehicles to encourage EV adoption.

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