Struggling taxi industry sees no benefit in e-switch

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Photo credit: Studio040

The Eindhoven taxi industry isn’t keen on an accelerated switch to an electronic car fleet.

The local municipality has proposed this. “We are already struggling to survive at all in these difficult times,” says a spokesperson. The question of speeding up sustainability was put to the industry before the coronavirus pandemic broke out.

At that time, there seemed to be some room for investment in part of the industry. But the coronavirus has eaten into all the companies’ reserves. What’s more, if the crisis continues any longer, a large part of the industry is in danger of collapsing.

“Speeding things up now would surely cause drivers to quit,” Patrick van de Sande, secretary of the Eindhoven Taxi Foundation, says. This is one of the 11 licensed taxi companies in the city. “Surely that can’t be the intention of this greening.”

‘We need time’

Van de Sande prefers to see that his sector’s given time to take stock. “A good look at shrinkage, that’s what’s needed now. Only when it is clear how the sector will emerge from this crisis, we will know more about how, and at what pace, we can invest in electric cars”.

The proposed acceleration of the pace at which taxis are to be made emission-free would mean that 71% of the current fleet would have to be replaced. That would cost €50,000 per taxi. “In this day and age, of course, the question is how long it will take you to recoup that investment”, Van de Sande says.

To lower the investment threshold slightly, the city council previously proposed a subsidy of €5,000 to ‘switchers’. But the taxi owners don’t like that either. “There’s a good chance that they will take that subsidy and then stop,” says Patrick.

“Then the government’s just throwing money away. It would be better to pay out the subsidy only if, one year after registering, owners are still active as drivers.”

Source: Studio040

Translator: Bob

Editor: Melinda Walraven

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