The clatter of diesel engines used to be a given at taxi ranks, although petrol/electric hybrids have since become commonplace outside Britain’s railway stations too, but could both be swept away by fully electric taxis? Mark Bursa, editor of Professional Driver magazine, thinks this is inevitable. “The private hire industry has to go electric. Half of it is London-focussed, and to avoid the congestion charge you have to have an EV. You need at least a PHEV to register the car, but PHEVs have to pay C-charge (at £15 a day). After 2025, there will be no exemptions at all. Addison Lee has 4,000 cars, that’s a lot of £15s,” he said, adding that a lack of on-street chargers and restricted supply of new cars is slowing down this trend.
Outside London things are less strict, with cleaner, more modern diesels and petrol cars making the mini cab cut, but the direction of travel is clear.
So, if your next mini cab ride is smart electric car rather than a ratty old Prius, and your driver started taking about it, what would he or she say? (“charges up in no time, good range, you can really stretch out in the back there can’t you? That’s what Jason Donovan said when I picked him up from the airport. This car wasn’t cheap to buy, though. Oi, mate! Ain’t you heard of indicators?!’).
We've asked the experts and come up with this top 10 guide to the best electric cars to get you south of the river. Oh, and there's an extra one too. Think of it as a tip on top of our top tips.