By DARA BUTTERFIELD
203020 Electric – part of the Tele Taxis Group – has launched one of the UK’s largest fleets of fully electric taxis in Dundee at an event attended by Derek Mackay MSP, the Scottish Government Transport Minister.
With 30 vehicles all entering service at the same time, it’s one of the UK’s single largest electric vehicle fleet deals – and which will soon become even bigger as the company plans to replace its entire 60-vehicle fleet over the next 12 months.
The move will save Tele Taxis Group hundreds of thousands of pounds in fuel each year as the new vehicles – the Nissan LEAF and e-NV200 – cost just 2p per mile to run.
Mackay said: “The Scottish Government is committed to improving air quality in our towns and cities – that is why we have been delighted to support this ambitious project as part of our overall investment of £17 million in a range of low carbon vehicles initiatives over the past two years.
“Bold initiatives such as this offer a visible demonstration that this transformation is already happening and I am delighted to be able to experience these vehicles at first hand by taking a ride in one today.
“A journey in one of these taxis may well be the first encounter many members of the public will have with an electric vehicle, helping to raise awareness that there are viable alternatives to petrol and diesel cars.”
David Young, Owner, 203020 Electric, said: “There are big financial benefits to operating a fleet of electric taxis but that is not the main driver behind our decision to go down this route.
“Dundee has some of the worst air pollution in the country and this initiative puts us at the forefront of efforts to improve that. The environmental benefits of running these pure electric vehicles will make a real difference for the people of Dundee.”
The batteries can be charged from zero to 80% in just 30 minutes using a rapid charger, and a bank of five rapid chargers has been installed at the taxi company’s depot in the city.
Importantly the chargers are all available for public use and currently free to charge from – so keen is the Scottish Government to de-carbonise transport.
Karen Hendry, Nissan’s Corporate Sales Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “The Nissan LEAF and e-NV200 are fast becoming the vehicles of choice for taxi operators, large and small.
“There are now fleets of electric taxis in operation in towns and cities across the country and the world, making a real contribution to air quality and slashing running and maintenance costs for operators.”