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Electric car owners may face £19,000 battery charge

Electric car owners face a bill of up to £19,000 to replace the battery, a report has found.

Woman charging up her electric car: Electric car owners may face £19,000 battery charge

Only 680 electric cars have been bought so far this year despite 2011 being declared Britain’s ‘year of the electric car’ Photo: ALAMY

Figures obtained by The Times discovered that a new battery for the Nissan Leaf, the world’s top-selling electric car, costs more than double past estimates.

The disclosure could mean that the switch from fossil fuels to electric motoring will be much slower than the Government has predicted, the paper said. However, the figures did show that owners of an electric car would save money as the cost of petrol rises.

Only 680 electric cars have been bought so far this year despite 2011 being declared Britain’s “year of the electric car”.

The Government has provided £43 million to give 8,600 buyers of electric cars a grant of £5,000 towards the purchase price.

Nissan has admitted that owners of a Leaf, which costs £26,000 after the government grant, may need to replace the battery after a few years, depending on how it has been treated, The Times reported.

The battery’s capacity can decrease significantly if the owner repeatedly uses a fast-charge point.

In the latest episode of Top Gear Jeremy Clarkson was shown running out of power and having to be pushed into the centre of Lincoln, which has no public charging points.

Andy Palmer, Nissan GB’s senior vice-president, told the paper that the lithium ion battery is made up of 48 modules. He said that each would cost £404 to replace, making £19,392 for the entire battery pack. He said that most owners would not need a new battery for at least ten years because electric vehicles should mainly be used for short journeys.

Bogus taxi drivers targeted in Birmingham

Inside Out joins the police and Birmingham City Council’s taxi enforcement team looking for unlicensed drivers, known as ”plyers” in a clampdown on bogus cabs.

From BBC West Midlands

Click here to read on the BBC News website with video

Only hackney drivers can legally pick up customers without a booking so private hire cabs who take fares straight from the street are breaking the law.

Most private cabs who pick up passengers from the street do this to make some quick money. But some have a darker motive to lure vulnerable, often drunk, lone women into their cars.

Seventy five women have been sexually assaulted while trying to get home from a night out in Birmingham in the past two years.

Inside Out speaks to one woman, 19-year-old Sarah, who was subjected to a serious sexual attack by a bogus taxi driver. Her attacker was jailed for five years in December 2013.

Most of the city’s 1,300 legitimate black cabs and 4,500 private hire drivers work hard to make an honest living and want the rogues off the road as much as anyone else.

About 100 drivers lose their licenses for ‘plying’ offences in Birmingham every year and these are the drivers being targeted by the police.

Inside Out West Midlands is broadcast on BBC One at 19:30 on Monday, 13 January on BBC One and nationwide on the iPlayer for seven days thereafter.

Here is the iPlayer link

Paris Taxi Trade Show London How It’s Done: More than 5000 taxis ready to block Paris today.

Big mess for Monday. More than 5,000 taxis unite and get ready to block the streets of Paris.
This is what was promised by  five unions (CFDT, CGT, FO, and SDCTP CST), according to France Info. They are all very angry against the cars with drivers, which they consider to be unfair competition. Another reason for anger: the increase in the VAT rate, which rose for transport, 7% to 10%.
For them, the recent government decision to regulate the activity of VTC (The Paris equivalent of private hire) is clearly not sufficient. On December 27th, a decree was issued which requires VTC to wait a minimum of15 minutes between when they are called and when they collect the customer. The VTC plan to take this before the Council of State. They will, moreover, be joined in their fight by a new heavyweight player. Transdev, a subsidiary of public transport in the Caisse des Dépôts. This new company, revealed its plans to fight the legislation in  Les Echos, when they enter the market.
            Paris bought to a standstill today
“We believe this decree strengthens anticompetitive position and hinders the development of our current business and our future activities,” said AFP boss at Transdev transport, Paul Rosen. Transdev and other CTI companies may also seek the advice from the Competition Authority, which considered mid-December that the introduction of the minimum period of 15 minutes “would be a distortion in competition between VTC and radio taxis, which is not justified by considerations of general interest shown”.
The market has attracted several startups as Lecab, Snapcar or Private Driver and the American heavyweight of this business, Uber, already present in several major capitals around the world.
But the Paris Taxi trade are not a force to take lightly. When they unite, they block Paris completely and will do so on regular occasions.
Take note TfL, Coming to streets near you, SOON.

There Will Always Be Work On The Street

Whilst I attended the Nissan launch this morning I bumped into Grant Davis, the chairman of the LCDC, I have known Grant for quite a number of years and whether or not you like him in his role as Chairman of the LCDC I have personally always found him to be quite and amicable bloke and I get on with him quite well.

We were talking generally about various things within the trade when Grant made a comment regarding the Nissan Launch when he said that it might all be a waste of time as within a couple of years we might not have a trade! He said that he was talking to a driver the other day who said that he didn’t read the LCDC Paper “The Badge” as he didn’t need the grief! He just wanted to go to work and earn his money and go home with as little grief as possible. When Grant questioned him saying that the trade is in decline and the work on the street might change the driver replied by saying “there will always be work on the street”

There will always be work on the Streets, now this is something that I hear over and over again from various drivers who really seem to believe it, they seem oblivious to the fact that street work is in decline, yes we may have had a couple of good months towards the end of last year but to be honest the run up to Christmas wasn’t that great. The app companies are also eating into our traditional street week as are the private hire companies, it seems as though a lot of people no longer are prepared to go out onto the street and take their chances of hailing a taxi.

When are drivers going to weak up? When its too late? It seems to me as though the apathy within out trade is at an all time high, you only have to look at the state that the UCG is currently in, where the current committee have stood down and no one is prepared to take up the challenge and offer to serve on the committee to ascertain how apathetic the trade has become.

I know that a lot of drivers are fed up with the current driver organisations and believe that they are either not doing enough to protect our trade or are doing the wrong things for our trade but there is an old saying that “you have to be in it to win it” and by that I mean it is no good not belonging to a trade organisation and standing around moaning about what they are or are not doing, you cannot change things from the outside, you need to be a prt of an organisation to be able change things from the inside.

The way this trade is going and they way in which drivers within the trade appear to bury their heads in the sand and truly believe that there will always be plentiful work around we will all wake up one day and wonder why we can’t earn a living from the trade that we have allowed to decline for so long.  We all worked extremely hard to gain our shinny badges whether they be Green or Yellow and unless we start to unite and stand up for what we have all worked so hard to achieve then we will not have anyone else to blame but ourselves.

It is time that we put the past behind us and looked to the future, its time for all the driver representative organisations spoke with one voice and truly represented the trade rather than protecting their cosy little jobs and salaries.

We need to take a look at the Paris Taxi drivers and take notice of what they manage to achieve by standing together as one, yes i Know that they all belong to the same association and in London we have many but as long as our associations and organisations spoke with one voice to the licensing authorities we might actually get some of our issues looked at and resolved.

The time has come to take a step back and take a fresh approach.

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