Busting myths & answering FAQ about The Electric Taxi | LEVC

Learn more about Charging TX

Read our frequently asked questions

1. Is there a list of the ‘Taxi only’ rapid charge points available in London?


The interactive map provided by City Hall shows the distribution of electric rapid charge points delivered by Transport for London (TfL) across London: View our interactive charging map

2. How long will it take to charge the battery?


Rapid charging points can recharge the TX in just half an hour, meaning your cab could be charged in the time it takes to grab a cup of tea or bite of lunch. TfL have committed to installing 150 of these rapid chargers in London by the end of the year – whilst additional rapid chargers are being installed at petrol stations, shopping centres and airports around London.

The TX boasts the most flexible on-board charging system on the market, allowing drivers to fully utilise all home and on street charging charge points. Typical full charge times are as follows:

Full charge in 6 - 8 hrs (typically 2.5kW using a 3-pin socket)

Full charge in 3h45 (7kW)

Full charge in 1h15 (22kW) - 2h20 (11kW)

Full charge in 30mins (50kW)

3. Where can I find a map showing the distribution of Electric Vehicle Rapid Charge Points across Greater London and within the M25?


TfL continues to progress a hub site to be delivered by the City of London in Baynard House car park with a delivery target as the end of 2019. The City intend for this site to include up to 10 charging points. It is expected that at least half will be dedicated for taxi use with the remaining available to all users.

A further hub site in Greenwich is in design phase and pending successful planning approval, is expected to be installed in first quarter of 2020. This will have up to 8 charging points. A number of sites are likely to be dedicated for taxi use with the remaining available to all users.

You can track London’s charge points on the new interactive map by City Hall

View our interactive charging map

4. How much will it cost to charge TX?


Whether you’re charging from home overnight, or using an on-street charging point, the cost will of course depend on the service provider. However, typically, a full recharge overnight at home shouldn’t cost you anymore than £3. And depending on the charge point and its location within London, you can expect to pay between £5 and £7.50 for a full charge.

There are of course, many factors that can affect fuel consumption, including driving style and even the weather. You can find our full list of driving tips and a video on how to optimise your fuel below.

At Home (7kW) - Costing around £3
Fast On-Street (11kW) Costing around £5
Rapid On-Street (50kW) - Costing around £7

5. How do I charge overnight?


LEVC have a partnered with Chargemaster to provide a onestop solution for home-charging.

For those who do not have access to off-street parking, the On-street Residential Charge Point Scheme helps local authorities to support drivers with no access to off-street home charging.

6. I’ve seen other electric vehicles plugged in to lamp posts. Can the TX be recharged this way too?


Absolutely, TX is compatible with Type 2 charging which is the standard used on most residential lamp post charge points – which gives drivers access to an even larger potential charging infrastructure. What’s more, drivers are also able to speak to their local council to request a free of charge residential charge point closer to their home - though the exact policy varies from Borough to Borough.

7. How can I get a Home charge unit installed on my driveway?


We have partnered with ChargeMaster, the leading suppliers of home charge units in the UK, to offer a one-stop solution for installation of your very own 7kW home charge unit; capable of charging the TX in just 3 hours and 45 minutes overnight. More information, as well as an instructional video, visit - https://chargemasterplc.com/for-home/?gclid=Cj0KCQ...

8. What are Transport for Greater Manchester doing to support more accessible charging infrastructure?


Transport for Greater Manchester is looking to massively expand the number of charge points across the region and have applied for DEFRA funding to do so. This includes updating historic charge points and adding more rapid-charge points. They are also looking at introducing a simple booking/reservation system for charge point usage. Although initially charge points won’t be exclusive to taxi drivers, the plan includes dedicated installations at private sites, such as taxi ranks. Preferential rates and tariffs for specific user groups, such as taxis, are also being proposed. 

9. When will the above take place?


We expect more installations to take place in September 2018, with a rollout of further infrastructure carrying on into 2019.

In addition LEVC is working with local authorities as well as private sector to increase the number of charge points available in Manchester and we expect more installs to be planned in the near future.

10. That seems a long way off. How am I covered for charging now?


The easiest and cheapest way of charging your TX is at home. A full charge can cost around £3, especially if done so overnight to take advantage of lower tariffs. With a ChargeMaster 7kW wall box installed, and the typical range of the average driver discussed above, you should be able to operate with ease. If this type of charging isn’t available to you, there are over 300 charge points within the Greater Manchester area.

11. Can TX charge using the Tesla 120 kW charge points?


The Tesla Superchargers are exclusive to Tesla vehicles, however TX can maximise use of the available on-street charging infrastructure because of its market-leading charging capabilities - with access to slow (<7kW), fast (<22kW) & rapid (50kW) charging via different sockets

12. Is the charging lead that comes with TX fitted with a normal 3-pin plug?


TX comes with Type 2 / CCS (the most common variety of charger). Although TX can be charged using a domestic 3-pin socket we prefer drivers use a traditional wall box or charge post for a variety of reasons. Not only is the rate of charge much slower (typically 2.5kW), there is the risk of overloading circuits that are not designed for this type of use.

However for those drivers who wish to purchase a 3-pin plug your local dealer will be able to supply one for £320 ex. VAT.

13. If I charge at home how would I work out the yearly charging costs of running the taxi for my tax returns?


We’ve partnered with Chargemaster - the UK's leading supplier of home chargers - who can offer a Smart Charger which makes tax returns simpler by generating reports to show the energy used specifically for vehicle charging. Please contact your local dealer to learn more or contact Chargemaster.

14. Are there any EV charge points in Manchester?


There are already a number of charge points and network operators around Manchester drivers can access - these can be found on Zap Map which provides live information on availability, cost and network operator. Manchester City Council has its own charging network GMEV , in addition Charge Your Car ( CYC) operate a network – all have apps which can be downloaded.

LEVC is also working with a number of partners and network operators to increase the charging network in Manchester, we are also aware that Manchester City Council also have plans to expand the local network.

The charge points are mainly 7kW chargers but there are also 22kW chargers which have been installed by Franklin Energy and Chargemaster.

15. What is the difference between the Type 2 / CCS & CHADdeMO socket on the vehicle, when do I use each one?


The Type 2 plug (also known as ‘Mennekes’) is the most common variety of socket. A separate cable is usually attached to the charge point at one end and to the top portion of the CCS (Combined Charging System) socket on the taxi.

Type 2 connectors provide ‘slow’ and ‘fast’ charging using mains power (AC). At home, a wall box can provide power up to 7kW. On-street this increases to between 7kW and 22kW, depending on the individual charge point. Thanks to its sophisticated on-board charging system, the new TX is capable of charging at the maximum power provided by these posts. The charge point and taxi communicate with each other using a system known as ‘Mode 3’, to optimise the charging cycle.

To recharge in the shortest time possible, on-street rapid chargers provide direct current (DC) at a rate of 50kW. For these chargers, the cables are tethered to the charge point – just like at a traditional petrol station. The European standard connector for rapid-charging is the CCS (Combined Charging System) plug, which uses the same socket as the Type 2 fast charger as well as the two lower pins.

The other on-street charge socket available is known as CHAdeMO. This Japanese tethered connector provides up to 50kW DC rapid-charging, just like the CCS, via a dedicated socket. While this connector type is becoming less common for new infrastructure installations, there remains a wide network of existing charging points that use this format, in fact as of August 2017 50% of all rapid-charge points currently utilise a CHAdeMO connector (source: Zap-Map).

16. Is it safe to leave TX plugged in charging overnight, even when the battery is fully charged?


Yes it's perfectly safe. Home charging using a dedicated 7kW wall box is the most common and recommended method for charging TX. Not only is it the easiest way - simply plug in at night and wake up to a fully charged taxi, but it's also the cheapest with a full charge costing around £3.

The battery in TX is monitored and managed by sophisticated on-board systems which, among their many other functions, continually speak to the charge point when it's plugged in to ensure the rate of charging and discharging is carefully controlled - so basically, when the battery is full, it stops receiving charge. For this reason it's also perfectly safe to leave TX plugged in charging if you go on holiday. In fact we recommend you do so, that way the 12V battery is also fully charged upon return.

17. Is there any reason why the petrol range-extender can’t be used to charge the battery?


Charging the battery from the range-extender would lead to more cabs idling in the city. This not only increases emissions, but is inefficient; it costs far more to convert petrol into electricity than it does to plug-in, so it’s better to use petrol only as much as is necessary and to recharge the battery by plugging in when possible. The different drive modes allow you to deploy your electric power as suits your working day.

This is made possible because TX’s battery and charging system allow for better electric-only range and faster, more flexible re-charging. The range-extender provides additional peace of mind and an additional range of nearly 300 miles between fill ups.

18. Where can I view the ever growing list of 'Taxi only' charge points, either using the Zap-Map App or online?


We've partnered with Zap-Map, the UK’s leading electric vehicle charging platform, on activities related to EV charging services. Their comprehensive map is used to support TX drivers assess the availability of charging facilities in their region; first in London, and then across other UK cities.

Zap-Map have filters which allow you to select 'Taxi Only' charge points, in addition, TfL have a published list on their web site, see link below.

Visit TfL

19. What should I do if an on-street charge point isn't working?


We encourage drivers to notify the network operators directly in these situations using the contact information on the charge point, in many cases they can resolve issues quickly remotely. Please feel free to make LEVC aware and we will also notify the network operator.

20. Can I charge at the older CHAdeMO charge points?


TX is equipped with a fast, flexible charging system which incorporates AC ‘fast’ charging at up to 22kW and DC ‘rapid’ charging at up to 50kW, with the European-standard CCS (Combined Charging System) socket type fitted as standard. To provide 100% coverage of the UK charging network, we also offer an additional rapid charge socket, compatible with the Japanese CHAdeMO standard. While the majority of rapid charge posts are fitted with both types of lead and they provide the same function, some older posts may feature only the CHAdeMO connector. For drivers living or operating close to one of these locations, the additional compatibility allows them to take full advantage of the local charge point.

21. Which charge card should I get to recharge TX on-street?


We've secured a number of exclusive offers for TX owners in London which include preferential tariffs and free memberships. We suggest you sign up to:

- ESBusing the taxi package (free membership and 25p per kWh charging)

- POLAR Taxi is credit/debit card only and 22p per kWh (POLAR Plus is not available for taxi drivers at the moment)

- Source London (free membership & 30% discount on charging sessions)

For drivers outside of London, POLAR and Charge Your Car are among the UK’s largest public charging networks so we recommend joining them to access their on-street charging facilities.

Published: 28/06/2018

22. Is TX able to use 350kW chargers, or the 150kW ultra-fast chargers?


Although a few sites are able to offer higher public charging rates, the current standard for DC rapid charging across the UK and Europe is 50kW and we have optimised TX to re-charge from these posts. This means TX is able to regulate the energy available from the charge post to ensure the maximum level of charge possible during the charge cycle.

23. Can I charge TX in the rain?


Yes the charging plugs feature several layers of in built protection which means it's perfectly safe to plug your taxi in when it's raining. As a general tip, avoid pointing the connector up towards the downfall.

24. What should I do if an EV is plugged in to a charge point, they’re done charging but don’t move along?


If drivers feel a charge point has been used for an excessive period of time we recommend notifying the charge point operator, local authority, or local transport body responsible for that particular charging network – particularly dedicated taxi charge points. Contact details are generally displayed on either signage, the charge point itself or online. We encourage drivers where possible to provide relevant supporting evidence that the same EV has overstayed the allowed period.

LEVC regularly meets with legislators, local authorities and network operators across the UK and have highlighted the need for enforcement of charge points. This is something that is being reviewed locally and some areas are introducing enforcement policies.

25. I’ve booked a test drive in TX. Can I use on-street charger with a debit card only, or do I have to register with the different operators?


The TfL taxi only charge points are credit/debit card capable. With other networks it will pay to check with the network operator, alternatively please refer to ZapMap which will advise how to access different chargers.

Signing up to a network will mean an RFID (Radio-frequency identification) card is issued, this can take up to five days, so not suitable for a test drive situation.

26. What changes regarding the OLEV grant for the supply & installation of ‘Home Charge Points’ are coming July 1st 2019?


As of Monday July 1st the £500 Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) grant to subsidise the supply and installation of ‘Home Charge Points’ will only apply to ‘Smart’ Home Charge Points that meet the technical specifications and have been approved OLEV.

‘Smart’ Home Chargers provide drivers with many benefits including:

The ability to schedule home charging events This can help drivers save money by encouraging off-peak charging when tariffs are lower
The ability to separate EV charging from home energy consumption Making it easier for the reporting of energy as business expense

27. If I've already received the OLEV Home Charge Grant, can I apply again for a new 'Smart' Home Charger grant?


Customers are only able to claim the OLEV Home Charge Grant once, therefore a second application cannot be made to upgrade their existing charge point. In many cases the existing home charge points are ‘plug and go’, there is nothing wrong with them and customers can continue to use them. LEVC is also exploring alternative technology coming to market that will allow customers to use their existing charge point with the opportunity to access cheaper off-peak tariffs – we will share details if this is a compatible technology. 

28. How much will a 'Smart' Charger cost and what are the benefits of having one?


BP Chargemaster are LEVC’s existing home charging partner and the commercial offering for a ‘Smart’ Home Charger as of July 1st will be £359 (incl. VAT).

EO Charging are LEVC's home charging partner in Scotland, and with the additional grant available to Scottish drivers this will mean a standard installation will be £59.

'Smart’ charging technology is more expensive than a simple ‘plug and go’, however, with their innovative features will help reduce TX home charging costs for drivers in the long-term.

‘Smart’ Home Chargers provide drivers with many benefits including:

The ability to schedule home charging events This can help drivers save money by encouraging off-peak charging when tariffs are lower
The ability to separate EV charging from home energy consumption Making it easier for the reporting of energy as business expense

29. Which 'Smart' home chargers can I use?


LEVC spoke with a range of suppliers that had successfully gone through the OLEV approval process and had also tested their products against TX to ensure charging compatibility.

LEVC selected suppliers based on the quality of product, their experience in the market, ability, transparency of offer, and customer service. We have also factored in the added value the suppliers offer such as access to public and taxi dedicated charging networks and future propositions.

BP Chargemaster and EO Charging are LEVC's designated home charging partners, however a comprehensive list of manufacturers which qualify for the subsidies can be found below.

View OLEV approved charge point model list

30. How can I get an on-street charger installed near my house?


There are several options we recommend to drivers.

You can register your interest with Ubitricity who retrofit existing street lights with EV charging facilities, or submit a recommendation on PowerMyStreet, who offer Londoners the chance to nominate their preferred location for new on-street charge points. Alternatively you can speak to your local council to see what provisions they have for residents who are interested in getting an on-street charger.

Please note, every local authority has its own legislations in terms of procurement and installation of on-street EV charge points in residential areas. Thus, LEVC is unable to guarantee any possible installation options or timelines.

Visit Ubitricity

Visit PowerMyStreet

31. What is self-charging and is TX a self-charging vehicle?


The term ‘self-charging’ is a marketing phrase used to describe a conventional parallel hybrid drivetrain – i.e. one which cannot be plugged in to charge. TX is a range-extended electric vehicle which combines the environmental and economic advantages of a plug-in battery electric vehicle, with the flexibility of a conventional or hybrid one.

Recharging an electric vehicle using mains electricity is far more efficient, more environmentally-friendly (particularly when that energy is generated sustainable) and much more cost effective. By contrast, converting expensive (and heavily-taxed) petrol into electricity results in far higher fuel costs.

The range-extender, fitted as standard to TX, can maintain the charge in the battery as required to provide complete operational flexibility. It allows the driver to preserve electric range for use later in the shift, or to continue operating the vehicle once the charge is depleted until it is possible or convenient to stop and plug-in.

If you have a question or you'd like to find out more about #theelectrictaxi, tweet us @AskLEVC or contact your local TX dealer