Black cabs InstaVolt Syon Park

InstaVolt and cabbies join forces in the fight against VAT on public charging


Black cab drivers in London are calling for more support from the government to help them make the transition to an all-electric fleet.

Currently, just under 60% of London’s almost 15,000 strong black cab fleet is made up of zero-emission capable electric taxis. The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, which represents the majority of black cab drivers in London, says reducing VAT on public charging to 5% and improving access to rapid chargers through superhubs, like InstaVolt’s, could help accelerate the move to every cab being an EV.

To support a black cab drivers’ campaign to have VAT reduced to 5% at public charging points in line with home chargers, InstaVolt is removing 15% of the cost at its chargers in the capital for a month, as a sign of solidarity.

“Black cabs are part of the capital’s fabric and we’re thrilled to be supporting them with our expanding network across London and fantastic new super hub at iconic Syon Park,” said Simon Smith, InstaVolt’s Chief Commercial Officer.

“Cabbies are busy people for whom quite literally time is money and they need ready access to reliable charging solutions so they can get back on the road as quickly as possible, making InstaVolt the perfect partner. 

“At Syon Park and across our network, cabbies can benefit from our industry leading 99%+ reliability as well as accessing a whole host of amenities. While their cabs are charging, they can meet up with their fellow drivers, enjoy a cuppa and be back on the road in minutes."

The taxi trade has had to embrace electric vehicles in recent years amid a push from Transport for London (TfL) to reduce toxic air and emissions in the capital. Since 2018, all taxis licensed for the first time have had to be zero emission capable, as part of the London Mayor's ambition for a net zero-carbon city by 2030. But there are calls for the government and TfL to step in to do more to support drivers and reduce VAT on charging points, to make these plans achievable.


Left to right: Quentin Willson, motoring journalist and transport campaigner, Steve McNamara, general secretary of Licenced Taxi Drivers Association and Simon Smith, Chief Commercial Officer, InstaVolt.

Left to right: Quentin Willson, motoring journalist and transport campaigner, Steve McNamara, general secretary of Licenced Taxi Drivers Association and Simon Smith, Chief Commercial Officer, InstaVolt.

InstaVolt has recently launched its largest ultra rapid EV charging superhub in the capital at historic Syon Park in Brentford. 

“Rapid charging superhubs like this fantastic facility are key to expanding the charging network in London and ensuring drivers can always find a place to charge their cab and benefit from amenities while they wait,” said Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the LTDA.

“Well over half of London’s black cabs are now electric but the shortage of rapid public charging points and rising cost of charging remain barriers to wider uptake of electric taxis.

 Reducing the VAT on public charging, bringing it into line with home chargers, would help level the playing field for those drivers unable to charge at home as well as supporting drivers with mounting operating costs. We hugely appreciate InstaVolt’s gesture of removing the VAT equivalent themselves to demonstrate the positive impact such a reduction would have.”   

Zapmap is one of a number of organisations backing the FairCharge campaign, which aims to reduce the rate of VAT on public charging and so bring down costs for EV drivers without access to a home charger.

“FairCharge has campaigned for three years repeatedly asking the Treasury to cut the VAT on public EV charging, and help reduce costs for those electric car drivers who can’t charge at home,”said Quentin Willson, founder of FairCharge.

“Affordability is one of the key levers to mass EV adoption. I’m really encouraged to see InstaVolt symbolically reduce their prices, to reflect the difference a VAT cut would make, and for the LTDA and all their EV cab drivers to join the campaign. Hopefully this will help HMT appreciate that reducing the tax on electricity for public EV charging is an important lever for increasing EV adoption."


Instavolt and Zapmap share a live data partnership, meaning that users of the Zapmap app and web map can access charge point status and availability information at any time, making planning for your charging stops even easier.