Oxford introduces first electric private hire car


Oxford City Council has licensed its first fully electric private hire vehicle, with the hope of developing future support for commercial electric vehicles in the city.

Local company Vert2Go provides executive chauffeur services and chose to buy a Tesla Model X for its electric range, interior space and low carbon credentials. The company has joined Oxford City Council’s Early Adopter group as the first Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV) Private Hire Proprietor in the city. The council will provide Early Adopter Funding Support, worth £2138 over five years, whilst Vert2Go has committed to share their learning with Oxford City Council, which will get valuable feedback from the company on topics such as charging and customer experience.

Mirroring the Hackney Carriage Early Adopter scheme, Oxford City Council will provide support to the first 10 adopters of ULEV private hire vehicles that are licensed by the authority. The first electric Hackney Carriage in Oxford was announced in April this year, and the council is urging others in the Hackney and Private Hire trade to make the change, through financial incentives, engagement events and an local taxi rapid charging network, funded by a £500000 grant from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.

Tom Hayes, cabinet member for Zero Carbon Oxford, said: “Just a few weeks after Oxford received its first zero emissions-capable Black Cab, the city is now going to see its first electric private taxi on our roads. This is great news for Oxford and will help to tackle pollution and our climate crisis. I’m delighted the Council has been able to support this new development, and I’m sure we’ll see many more licensed operators going electric. With the new Zero Emissions Zone coming into Oxford from 2020, it makes good business sense as well as being environmentally right.”