Furious Sheffield taxi driver 'going back to diesel' after council hikes electric car charging costs
and live on Freeview channel 276
Shaib Zaman says the new rates, plus 80 minutes-a-day charging and range limitations on his Hyundai Ionic leave him with just £50 per shift, less than minimum wage. And as soon as he pays it off he is going back to a diesel.
He said: “I’m really angry and frustrated at what’s happened. I purchased an electric car after the council announcement of going green but it’s been a massive mistake. If I earn £100, 20 per cent goes to City Taxis then £30 to charge the vehicle, which leaves £50 for 8/9 hour work. It’s ridiculous. I’m trying to pay it off as quickly as possible because the old one was cheaper.”
Mr Zaman says his diesel Mondeo would cost £80 to fill and do 500 miles. Now he has to recharge twice a day, costing £15 and taking 40 minutes each time, worth £25 in earnings. The car’s range is 130 miles but that can fall by 10 miles if he has the heating on and a further five if its cold outside because the battery doesn’t work as well, he says. And it can’t do lucrative long distance airport jobs.
He lives in a flat in Woodseats so can’t have his own electric point and there are only a handful of council-owned chargers, although privately-run ones charge even more, he says.
He added: “I thought it was really cost effective but I didn’t do my homework on all the pros and cons. But I’m not alone, all the drivers I’m talking to with electric cars want to sell theirs.”
From April 1, the city council increased costs at its 20 charging points by more than double from 30p per kWh to 72p per kWh. It also increased the ‘overstay’ charge from £10 after one hour, to £20, to ‘encourage drivers to free up the space for the next driver to come along’.
The authority said it was due to energy prices rising significantly. Drivers were encouraged to go electric after a Clean Air Zone covering the city centre was introduced in February charging older petrol and diesel taxis £15 a day.
Last month, Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Co-Chair of Transport, Regeneration & Climate Committee, said: “We’re proud to be supporting local people to make the transition to electric vehicles through our ever-growing EV charging infrastructure – which is one the of best things we can do to reduce harmful pollution from transport, making the air we all breathe cleaner and improving the health of local people.
“We know the rise in the charging point tariff may have a financial impact on some, and we’ve done our absolute best to sustain this low price for as long as possible. The council has absorbed much of the cost for keeping the tariffs low, however, with energy prices increasing, this simply isn’t sustainable moving forward.
“We’re also investing in making the existing network more resilient and will soon launch a further two rapid charging points and 46 fast charging points, to make it even easier for electric vehicle owners to access a charging point locally.”