Fintech support for new wave of sustainable taxis
The Mayor of London's fund MEEF, managed by Amber Fund Management Limited ('Amber') has provided a loan to Colts Cabs Limited ('Colts') to fund 30 LEVC TX vehicles through an innovative and flexible pay-per-mile mechanism managed by Zeti Limited ('Zeti').
Zeti developed the innovative financing structure for vehicles leasing based on a pay-per-mile principle measured against the per mile usage of vehicle fleets, utilising their unique platform, ZERO. The structure includes a minimum mileage to protect the lender. The ZetiZERO software platform allows fleet operators to produce granular real-time vehicle data and to track the vehicle location. The facility is paid off once the vehicle has reached the agreed mileage.
MEEF is looking to replicate this finance mechanism with Zeti for further deals in the taxi sector and in other transportation sectors.
Colts, a London based Small Medium Enterprise ('SME'), is one of London's largest black cab fleet operators having been in operation since 1991 with over 800 vehicles. Colts rents the black cabs to individual licensed black cab drivers who meet the TfL fit and proper person test.
The current fleet is predominately diesel and Colts along with its sister company Fulham Cabs Limited ('Fulham Cabs') are looking to increase their combined electric fleet to 2,000 vehicles by 2025.
The LEVC TX is a plug-in hybrid with an electric range of 63 miles capable of rapid charging with a small petrol engine to extend the range of the vehicle. The LEVC TX has a number of advantages over the older diesel black cabs, including reduced maintenance costs and improved fuel economy. Each cab is forecast to reduce carbon emissions by 3.9 tonnes and reduce NOx emissions by 99.5%. Overall, the 30 cabs will save 116 tonnes of CO2 per year, the equivalent of taking over 105 cars off the road.
The project is an important step in tacking London's air pollution and supports the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan's commitment to zero emission transport in the capital.
This is MEEF's third investment in the low carbon mobility sector. Eligible projects include EV charging, alternative fuel stations and hydrogen fuel cells.
Since launching in July 2018, MEEF has made investments in EV charging, district heating, streetlighting and energy efficiency sectors creating energy savings of over 39 million Gwh. Due to the success of MEEF to date, the GLA has agreed to increase the public sector commitment in the Fund up to £30.2 million.