Antwerp wants all taxis on alternative fuel by 2025
According to Koen Kennis, alderman for mobility in the city of Antwerp (N-VA) : “all registered taxis in the city of Antwerp should run on an alternative fuel by 2025”. For new taxi permits this rule will be applied already from 2018. This proposal has to be approved by the city council by mid October.
No more diesel taxis
Today only two taxis in the city of Antwerp run electric. As from 2025 taxi companies can choose between hybrid, electric, CNG or even hydrogen cars. Diesel cars might loose their permit.
Small taxi companies (with 1 car) doubt whether an electric car can be profitable. A classic diesel taxi with makes 3 euro profit for a turnover of 100 euro. For an electric car this would mean a loss of 18 euro, according to a calculation of Transport & Mobility Leuven.
Loosing time while charging
“The service costs are lower for an electric car but, the purchase price is more expensive”, explains Pierre Steenberghen, spokesman for the GTL taxi federation. “We hope prices of electric cars will drop in the years to come. Electric cars will also loose time while charging. Most taxis drive 24 hours a day and make an average of 400 km, this is impossible with an electric range of 300 kilometres today”.
The taxi sector asks the city of Antwerp to grant a subsidy for electric cars and also asks for an extra compensation of 20 cent a kilometer. There’s also need for extra charging stations and quick chargers.
Without this aid taxi companies have to charge the customers for these extra costs. Kennis is rather expectative because he thinks it makes no sense investing in charging infrastructure while taxi companies might choose for another (alternative) fuel.
Brussels has more electric taxis
In the city of Brussels the Chinese car manufacturer BYD (Build Your Dreams) already delivered 50 electric taxis. According to Steenberghen, the situation is different there. “In the Brussels area taxis make a lot of very short rides. In Antwerp however, the journeys are longer because lots of passenger take a cab to the national airport in Zaventem.