A Nottingham taxi driver has become the first in the city to own a 100 per cent electric Hackney cab.
Kuldip Dhillon has taken possession of the state-of-the-art vehicle and is being supported through a scheme run by Nottingham City Council.
The Dynamo taxi is the first fully-electric cab in use outside London and has a range of 170 miles from each charge.
The council has been encouraging taxi drivers to consider making the switch from traditional diesel vehicles to electric, and organised a ride-and-drive event in November last year, followed by information days and test-drives in January.
The partnership with Dynamo helps to complement the authority’s efforts to improve air quality in Nottingham and work towards a bold carbon-neutral pledge by 2028.
The total number of ultra-low emission hackney taxis (ULEV) on Nottingham’s streets has now increased to 33.
The Council has installed a number of dedicated Hackney-only charging points in and around Nottingham to help the taxi trade. The first have gone in along Canal Street, Curzon Street and the Victoria Embankment, with a dozen more proposed.
Drivers who choose to switch to a ULEV taxi are eligible for up to £3,500 of financial support from the council. Dynamo taxis, which are based on a Nissan multi-purpose vehicle, cost around £30 per week to run and can save up to £110 on fuel in that same seven-day period.
Councillor Sally Longford, Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council and Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment, said: “We made a bold pledge as a council last year to be a carbon-neutral city by 2028 – two years ahead of anywhere else in the country. Similarly, the council is also very ambitious to clean up Nottingham’s air and we have a project in place to address this.
“There are a number of things we’re doing to work towards both, and promoting the use of electric vehicles – particularly making them more accessible to people – is a key part of that.
“It’s been really good to work closely with Hackney taxi drivers in Nottingham to show them the types of new cabs we can help them to drive. As well as the obvious environmental benefits, the savings in fuel and maintenance are considerable.
“I’m delighted that Mr Dhillon has become the first in the city to take delivery of a Dynamo taxi and hope he is the first of many in the coming months and years.”
Mr Dhillon said: “This is the future. Not only is the taxi environmentally friendly, it’s efficient to run, with a long-range battery that means I don’t have to worry about charging in the middle of my shift.
“It’s fantastic to drive and customers love it. They comment on how quiet it is and how much they enjoy the journey.”