In view of the ongoing diesel debate and the discussion about inner-city driving bans, the German Taxi and Private Hire Association BZP – at its Autumn conference in Jena – calls for a state-run “economic stimulus program.” The association’s president, Michael Müller, who was confirmed in office in Jena for another four-year term, said: “We want to provide our services with the most environmentally friendly vehicle fleet possible. Our goal is the zero-emission taxi.”
The association adopted demands for environmentally friendly mobility for everyone at the Jena conference. Among other things, it claims: “For the breakthrough of e-mobility, we ask the local authorities to provide a nationwide and sufficient charging infrastructure programme in cooperation with local or supra-local energy providers. A separate network reserved for commercial traffic should be ensured here. Departments of commercial passenger transport companies are to be integrated into the public promotion of e-mobility, including the charging infrastructure.”
However, the predominantly medium-sized taxi and private hire industry can not handle this change alone and therefore advocates state subsidy programs. “The additional costs of purchasing e-taxis for comparable conventional models as well as the limitations in operation (charging time/two-shift operation for instance), must be at least partially offset by government support.”
At the same time, the industry also requires the support of manufacturers. Among other things, the carmaking industry is urged to classify or re-classify the diesel vehicles presently sold for use as taxis and private hire immediately (and temporarily) as Euro6d-vehicles. For the vehicles that do not require a reclassification or cannot be reclassified, the manufacturers should provide adequate financial incentives for the exchange of these vehicles for low-emission vehicles: “From the carmakers we expect taxi and private hire models with the latest exhaust and environmentally friendly drive technology at affordable prices.”
At the same time the German organization decided – after years of wrangling – to move its headquarters to Berlin (presently in Frankfurt – the country’s financial centre). At the moment the BZP has a secondary office in Berlin, Germany’s political capital. All members present at the Autumn conference agreed.
Our colleagues from Taxi Times report that a working group should quickly prepare for the relocation of the office from Frankfurt to Berlin. The move might take place by January 1, 2019. Michael Müller described today’s decision as a step towards stronger representation in Berlin, but also stressed that all further steps remain in the decision-making power of the members.
- Re-elected BZP President Müller: “Our goal is the zero-emission taxi.”