The city of Mechelen wants its taxi fleet to be made up exclusively of electric vehicles by 2030. The city has decided to subscribe to the “Clean Power for Taxis” project of environmental organization Bond Beter Leefmilieu (BBL) and will give a 4,000 euro premium for taxi companies investing in a new electric vehicle.
Mechelen has had its first electric taxi driving around the city since Monday. The city wants to become carbon-neutral and electrifying its taxi fleet is a step in that direction. Taxi companies not only get a 4.000 euro premium when buying an electric vehicle but also the taxi rank near the station will be redesigned.
“We’re still looking for an appropriate location for a quick-charging station”, says Alderwoman for Mobility and Climate, Marina De Bie (Groen). “Companies willing to open up part of their site can get a 750 euro subsidy for it.”
Today Mechelen has a fleet of 46 taxis, they all have to be electric by 2030. “This doesn’t mean that a ride will be more expensive”, promises De Bie. “Taxi companies will be given the time to spread their investments in order to be fully electric by 2030.”
For BBL the taxi project is a rational decision. “We strive for ‘cleaner’ transport, and we want to impose a mental shift”, says BBL’s spokeswoman Laurien Spruyt. “35% of all CO2 emissions is caused by transport, and taxis are always driving around, so making taxis electric is the right decision.
Besides, they reduce noise pollution, which will considerably improve the quality of life in the city centre.”