Derek (41) decided to make the jump from diesel power to electric power based on the environmental benefits and cost savings.
He has just had his licence application granted by Falkirk Council’s civic licensing committee and expects to have five electric cabs on the road by the end of the month.
“I am proud to have the first electric car to be used as a taxi in the Falkirk district,” said Derek, who runs Grange Radio Cabs in Grangemouth with business partner Gordon Alexander. “I have already had positive feedback from passengers who are impressed by how quiet the car is.”
Derek drives a Nissan Leaf and expects it to cost him two pence a mile to run compared to between 10 and 13 pence for a diesel car.
“People ask what I do if I run out of charge but if the car is fully charged, it is enough to drive about all day and you get plenty warning when power is running low. A full charge should last for 100 to 120 miles. The car can be charged at charging points in car parks and by plugging into the mains at home overnight.
“I was impressed by the low running costs compared to a diesel car. Apart from the savings on fuel there are lower repair and maintenance costs.
Derek said a rapid charger can recharge a car within half an hour, compared to a fast charger, which could take much longer and was more suitable for members of the public rather than taxi drivers. Ideally there should be one rapid charger for every seven to ten cars. If there aren’t enough chargers time would be wasted waiting for a charger to become free.”
Current EV charging points: Town House Street, Denny: 7kW (dual outlet); Larbert Station: 22kW (dual outlet); Union Road, Grangemouth: 22kW (dual outlet); Falkirk Grahamston Station: 50kW; Falkirk Stadium: 22kW (dual outlet) and 50kW, and Falkirk Council say it is planning to have more dotted around the district.
A council spokesperson said: “There are currently six charging points for electric cars in the Falkirk Council area and a further two will be available at Drossie Road and Slamannan Road car parks near Falkirk High station over the next few months.
“We are preparing a funding bid for a solar canopy charging facility at the Falkirk Stadium and if successful will bring a further 10 charging points for the area.”