Madrid City Council has recently approved ‘Taxifree 2020’, the first measure in a package of aid worth €2.7 million for replacing the most polluting taxis on the city streets. In total, 1,620 taxis will benefit from this aid: 1,600 for the purchase of ECO vehicles and 20 for the purchase of ZERO emission vehicles.
The objective is for Madrid to carry out a transition towards sustainable mobility and to comply with the objective on air quality set by the European Union in Directive 2008/50/EC. In addition, it intends to collaborate closely with taxi owners, whose families have been deeply affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.
The renewal of the taxi fleet towards less polluting technology and fuel is considered a key to improving air quality as taxi vehicles in Madrid represents an important source of emissions due to two different factors. On the one hand, 34% of the total fleet is powered by conventional fuel (diesel) with a high emission factor for nitrogen oxides and particles. On the other hand, according to the ‘Study of the taxi service of the Madrid City Council 2017’, each taxi travels around 200 kilometres a day – which is higher than the distance travelled by other private vehicles.
Large fixed amounts are reserved for each taxi driver. In previous years all applicants benefited from €100 and €200, however, this aid package allows a maximum of 1,620 beneficiaries, with funding of up to €6,000 per applicant. In addition, the aid allows a 7-10% discount on the value of the vehicle, excluding taxes, for the acquisition of zero emission vehicles for those ones who are not selected in the first round.
The starting date for the application will be announced soon in the municipal website along with the conditions and requirements to participate. To be eligible, the vehicle to be replaced may not exceed 10 years of age (because taxi’s operating within the city are required to be less than 10 years old) and applicants may not have been beneficiaries of previous calls going back to 2016.
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Original article published by Wired.it on 21 May 2020.