History was made in Dundee today when one of the UK's largest electric taxi fleets entered service for the first time. The fleet of 30 pure-electric Nissan LEAFs operated by 203020 Electric – part of the Tele Taxis Group – is now in 24-7 service in and around the City of Discovery. Offering zero emissions mobility, the Nissan LEAFs will make a significant contribution to improving air quality in the city and will further enhance the city's reputation as a leader in green transport. And the significance of the occasion was emphasised when the historic first journey was taken by Derek Mackay MSP, the Scottish Government's Minister for Transport and the Islands, around City Square. He was joined at an official launch event by executives from Transport Scotland, the Energy Saving Trust, Dundee City Council and Nissan – organisations that have all invested and advised on the project.
Welcoming the vehicles into service, Transport Minister Mr 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.
“In addition to the environmental benefits and fuel savings, the smoothness and quietness of a ride in these taxis will undoubtedly be appreciated by drivers and passengers alike."
With 30 vehicles all entering service at the same time, it's one of the UK's single largest electric vehicle fleet deals. But the deal will soon become even bigger as Tele Taxis / 203020 Electric plans to replace its entire 60-vehicle fleet with more Nissan LEAFs and the larger Nissan e-NV200 Combi over the next 12 months. The move will save Tele Taxis Group hundreds of thousands of pounds in fuel each year. The LEAF and e-NV200 costs just two pence per mile to run.