Switch taxi to electric: “I wish I’d done it years ago”

Switch taxi to electric. Nissahn NV200 is fully electric. It's wheelchair access. His the first electric taxi in Dundee. published at The Green Bee: Eco-Journalism. author Juanele Villanueva

Brian Marnie, a self-employed driver for Tele & Handys Taxis of Balgray Place, Dundee (Scotland) was the first driver to switch his taxi to electric. Now, he owns a fully electric taxi. He has switched his taxi to a electric with a wheelchair-access Nissan e-NV200 from the electric vehicle specialist, Vic Young Ltd, in January.

With Dundee being a pioneering city for reducing carbon emissions and recently building the first charging hub station for electric cars – Mr Marnie looks to have made a wise investment, especially considering the economic and environmental benefits of possessing an electric vehicle.

Concerns on battery range and charging network

Powered by a 40kWh lithium-ion battery, the zero-emission wheelchair access taxi has a range of up to 124 – 187 miles on a single charge. Drivers can also have peace of mind knowing that the battery has an 8 year / 100,000 mile warranty.

After driving its 100% electric taxi over a month, Brian Marnie said he would have liked to switch his taxi to electric earlier: “The taxi is great. I wish I could have bought years ago as I will be saving a fortune on fuel and service costs. My concerns with regards to charging anxiety were totally unfounded- the fear was greater than the reality. I’ve never had an issue with the vehicle running flat”.

According to Marnie, his customers love the electric compared to diesel; a smooth, quiet drive compared to diesel; plus the fact that I have done my bit for the environment. A lot of Dundee Taxi Operators have shown a keen interest in the vehicle.

Rapid chargers in public locations such as supermarkets and service stations will have charging points which will allow “fill the tank” from 20% battery to 100% in approximately 45-60 minutes. Also, an installed ‘fast home charger of 7kW’ will charge the vehicle to 100% battery in 7.5 hours. In addition, it could even be charged with a typical 3-pin mains plugin 11-18 hours. Averagely, the cost per electric car mile is 4.78p.

Vic Young, managing director of Vic Young Conversions, said: “Providing electric vehicles to Scotland is a great achievement for us. I firmly believe the market is ready to go all-electric with vehicles for trade and industry. As an added bonus for Dundee taxi drivers, Transport Scotland’s electric vehicle interest-free loan goes up to £35,000. It covers the cost of a new fully electric/plug-in hybrid vehicle”.

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