Two electric taxis have been rolled out in Dublin this week. Once their batteries are charged up, the Peugeot Expert (which also has wheelchair-access) and the Nissan Leaf Saloon, will be able to travel up to 160km. The average taxi journey is said to be 120km a day, which is well in the charging range, for electric taxis to be able to carry their passengers with no problem.
The first electric taxi service was launched by ESB ecars and the National Radio Cabs (NRC) who have teamed up together. The drivers of the two cars have had special power points installed at their homes, to make powering up the cars more convenient.
The managing director of NRC, Liam Brady, has said that the average cost of a day’s charging is about one-tenth the cost of diesel or petrol and works out between €3.00-€2.50 per day.
Brady said that “Electric cars make sense, as the biggest cost for taxis is fuel consumption”. Even though the cost of the Nissan is about €5,000 higher than the amount spent on a vehicle by taxi drivers, Brady states that the extra capital investment would more than be repaid due to the increased cost of fuel, taxi insurance and the general running costs of taxis nowadays.
The first 2,000 people to register and buy an electric car will have their power points installed free at their home, according to the ESB.
Three initial charging points has been rolled out in the city centre, and 30 more charging points are due to be installed along inter-urban motorways by the end of the year.
The ESB hopes that 1,500 on-street charging points will be rolled out across Ireland by the end of the year.
Brady hopes that these electric cars will have a positive impact on the city environment, and states that “We are looking at ways in which we can further reduce our carbon emissions, this is just the start of NRC’s establishment of having green credentials”.