Heathrow to install rapid charge points for electric black cabs

Heathrow Airport has revealed that it is actively collaborating with Transport for London to install seven rapid charging points for electric taxis by the end of this month, with the airport also announcing the delivery of its 50th electric vehicle (EV).

Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye with the airport's 50th electric vehicle

Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye with the airport's 50th electric vehicle

Chargers will be installed in Heathrow’s Taxi Feeder Park and are said to charge three times quicker than average charging infrastructure. The seven rapid chargers, some of the first in London, will be deployed to help reduce emissions related to airport traffic.

These chargers also tie in with the Mayor of London’s requirement for all newly licensed black cabs to be electric or plug-in hybrids, which comes into effect in January 2018.

The Heathrow 2.0 sustainability strategy places a big emphasis on zero-emission transport. As well as becoming one of the first ten companies globally to commit to the Climate Group’s EV100 initiative, which aims to ensure that all vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes are EVs by 2030, Heathrow Airport has now deployed its 50th EV into its commercial fleet.

Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Our sustainability strategy, Heathrow 2.0, and global commitments like EV100 tie Heathrow to some ambitious but realistic targets to clean up our fleet and speed up the take-up of electric technology across our airport.

“Since our pledge to switch to electric cars and vans in 2015 we have made tremendous progress towards improving air quality in our city, but we are committed to go further yet.”

Heathrow Airport has a target in place to make all of its cars and small vans electric or plug-in hybrids by 2020. The 50 EVs in use will reduce the airport’s fleet emissions by 165 tonnes of CO2 annually – equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 18 homes.

Transport transformation

As part of the airport’s pledge to go electric, more than £4m has been spent on charging infrastructure, including more than 80 charging points available to passengers. A further £5m has been committed for 2018.

The company’s most recent sustainability report, published in June 2017, outlined plans for its workforce to embrace the low-carbon transport shift. A programme was launched to incentivise the airport’s 6,000 employees to purchase low-emission vehicles.

Colleagues will be able to pay for the car through a monthly gross salary reduction, which will ensure they receive savings in income tax and national insurance, in return for their participation in the scheme.

The Airport – the first in the world to simultaneously hold four certifications from the Carbon Trust Standard – also made a switch to 100% renewable energy for its operations. New zero-carbon, fully autonomous, battery-operated carrier pods to act as shuttle vehicles for were also deployed last year.

Matt Mace


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