Denbighshire greener transport trial results

Nissan EV taxi

With all the claims and concerns about electric vehicles (EVs) being used as taxis, the best way to find out whether an EV is right for your taxi business is for taxi drivers to put it through its paces.

And that is exactly what 68 cabbies in Denbighshire have been doing as part of a pilot into greener transport. Denbighshire County Council’s pilot Green Taxi Project has now completed its final low-emissions mileage trial and invited taxi firms across the county who are looking to cut their own carbon footprints.

By putting EVs through their paces during normal taxi shifts in rural, urban and long-distance journeys, they have helped pave the way for other taxi drivers to follow suit.

The information has come first hand from real taxi drivers – not from a manufacturer getting results under optimum laboratory conditions.

The drivers were operating as they normally do and having to factor in charging, down time, traffic, as well as picking up fares.

The Rhyl Journal reports that the council was one of the select few local authorities in Wales taking part in the Welsh Government-funded scheme which started in autumn 2021.

As part of the “try before you buy” scheme, the project initially included the use of four wheelchair-accessible Nissan Dynamo E-NV200 taxis.

This enabled Hackney-licensed taxi drivers to try the vehicle free of charge for 30 days and also included free electric charging at specific locations, vehicle licensing, breakdown cover and insurance.

Initial feedback from the taxi drivers raised doubts about the Nissan’s range and the ability to do long-distance work. As a result, a Kia EV6 was added to the choice of vehicles, and was a gamechanger for taxi drivers with a range of up to 328 miles on a single charge. This allowed them to confidently work a complete shift, including airport transfers, without needing to recharge.

The total mileage for the project saw the taxis cover 88,086 miles – the equivalent of travelling three times around the world.

There were 12,760 individual journeys taken across Rhyl, Prestatyn, St Asaph, Denbigh, Ruthin, Corwen and Llangollen.

Cllr Barry Mellor, lead member for environment and transport, told the Journal: “This pilot project has really helped taxi drivers across the county get a good experience of what it’s like to drive an electric vehicle.

“It has helped them all focus on their own carbon footprint and what they can do themselves to reduce their impact. Feedback has been really good from the drivers.

“The project has enabled us to source feedback on the use of zero-emission tailpipe vehicles during taxi operations without compromising on service delivery and also show the fuel savings and impact against climate change that EVs can provide.

“The pilot has also helped our fleet department as well look at how different EVs can suit the urban and rural areas for transport that Denbighshire has.”

Pilot schemes such as this provide vital information for taxi drivers considering making the switch to EVs.

Not everyone will be in the ideal position of being able to test drive a fully licenced and insured taxi EV while carrying out their normal taxi work, but the feedback about their capability, and especially range, led to a change in vehicle which taxi drivers taking part were confident in.

The future for the taxi fleet is looking greener after all – thanks to the work of taxi drivers.

All information is correct at time of publication. Information provided within this article may have changed over time. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by John Patons Insurance Services or any of its employees.