It was a shock for Leipzig taxi drivers and a harbinger of things to come for the taxi industry: in mid-October, the city of Leipzig announced the goal of converting the city's taxi fleet completely to electric or at least hybrid by 2025. The quick fix backfired, but it shows what we can expect in the near future.
In the end, the project failed due to reality: it was not taken into account that public charging stations are taboo for businesses and taxi drivers cannot simply use them. In addition, most drivers do not have a parking space with a charging point in front of their house. Some of them live in high-rise buildings, even in not so trendy inner-city districts, where there is not a single charging station for miles around. The plan of the Leipzig city government was ultimately dropped for the time being because the city could not ensure that it would also provide the necessary infrastructure.
But the threat to many small taxi operators is not yet off the table. In addition, the industry is already suffering due to the increasing competition from private providers in recent years. Therefore, it is only right that the Federal Association for Taxis and Hire Cars (BVTM) is trying with a plan to make the upheavals in the industry bearable for the drivers and to steer them in the right direction. Since the industry does not have the financial means to manage the changeover on its own, it is demanding investments from the federal government amounting to 390 million euros. The goal is to convert about 80 percent of the taxi fleet to electric by 2030. Here, the discrepancy between the plans is striking: The city of Leipzig wanted 100 per cent by 2025, while industry representatives consider 80 per cent by 2030 to be realistic.
However, one thing is clear in both scenarios: diesel is going down the drain. Once the diesel taxis are gone, the ban on private diesel cars is only logical. In Linz, Austria, there is actually already a zone that applies specifically only to taxis: engines of diesel taxis here have to comply with at least Euro class 4, petrol cars with at least class 3. But things are also getting tighter for diesel cars. There are already many environmental zones or streets in Germany where diesel cars are only allowed to enter with Euroclass 6. Examples of this can be found in Wiesbaden, Berlin, Stuttgart, Mainz, Hamburg and Darmstadt. So far, these bans have often only applied to individual streets, as many places do not yet have the confidence to close entire neighbourhoods or environmental zones to diesel vehicles up to Euro class 5. However, the limit values have been tightened by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and it is to be expected that the EU will adopt these tightenings. Then there will be the threat of new diesel driving bans throughout the EU, which will most likely affect more than just individual stretches of road. A switch to electric or other alternative fuels, such as hydrogen, will then be inevitable.
Wherever the next diesel ban zone will be, whether for cars, trucks or taxis, you will be the first to know in our daily updated Green-Zones app. This way you are always on the safe side, even with a diesel vehicle.