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HACKNEY CARRIAGE drivers will be exempted from paying Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) for the next five years if they trade in their diesel vehicles for low emission electric taxis.

The tax break was due to start next year but Treasury minister Robert Jenrick said it had been moved forward 12 months to encourage the take-up of cleaner cabs. Taxi drivers who buy a new London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) E-City cab, costing £55,000, will now be exempt from the yearly VED rate of £310. This has been brought in a year early to help put the black cab fleet on a “firmer footing” with the minicab trade which can already access electric / hybrid cars under the £40,000 threshold.

Mr Jenrick said:

Replacing just one of these taxis with a cleaner, electric version would rid the city of seven tons of carbon dioxide a year. Now, just think what would happen if we upgraded all of them to greener, cleaner cabs.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said: “Ensuring the air in our bustling towns and cities is free from pollution is part of our quest to become the first British government to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.”

LEVC chief executive Chris Gubbey said the company would pay the VED charge on any E-City taxi that was ordered and delivered in March.

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