Addison Lee unveils £5m high-tech centre for drivers as it charges up its electric ambitions in London

 
Rebecca Smith
Addison Lee's new base near Heathrow officially opens later this month
Addison Lee's new base near Heathrow officially opens later this month (Source: Addison Lee)

Addison Lee has unveiled a new £5m high-tech centre for driver training and said it will have the largest bank of charging points for electric cars in the capital.

The private car hire firm’s investment will contribute to its drive to curb emissions with the installation of the largest bank of electric vehicle charging points in London.

Read more: Addison Lee's tech push pays off with revenues on track to rise 40 per cent

With a total of 22 charging stations, vehicles will be able to cover 14,000 low emission miles a week using its fleet of hybrid Toyota Prius vehicles.

The new facility is also looking at other ways to improve the company’s environmental impact, including a car wash system which uses water recycling technology. Addison Lee said that will result in up to an 80 per cent reduction in water usage.

Andy Boland, Addison Lee’s chief executive, said: “This £5m investment is a milestone not just for our business, but a clear indication of how we are spearheading the professionalisation of the sector. Quite simply, there is nothing like it in Europe.”

Around 100 drivers a day will be trained at the facility, in courses ranging from first aid to the firm’s NVQ driver diploma.

The news follows Uber's electric expansion as part of efforts to clamp down on air pollution in the capital. Another 100 Nissan Leafs will join the 50 already on the road since last summer, while it also plans to create a network of charging points across the city.

The mayor of London Sadiq Khan has been planning tougher measures to tackle London's air quality troubles, including an ultra-low emission zone, and from next year all new black cabs will have to be able to run with zero emissions or won't be given a licence.

To improve take-up of electric cars however, the charging infrastructure will need to be bolstered in central London, which is why Uber and Addison Lee have been looking to boost the numbers of charging points.

Read more: Watch out Uber? Addison Lee's investing £17m in new cars

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