Choose electric for your taxi ride and help improve air quality in St Albans

Councillor Gill Clark using the brand new St Albans electric taxi charger with Alex Calnan, MD of El

Councillor Gill Clark using the brand new St Albans electric taxi charger with Alex Calnan, MD of Electric Blue. - Credit: Archant

Taxi passengers in St Albans have the choice to ‘go green’ from this week as the first fully-electric cab using 100 per cent renewable energy is launched in the city.

A rapid charger has been installed in Adelaide Street and one driver has already signed up to the scheme with his Nissan Leaf EV hitting the roads this week.

The service is being offered by the St Albans start-up, Electric Blue, and managing director, Alex Canlan, says he expects the adoption of electric taxis by drivers to “snowball”.

He explained: “It’s cleaner, cheaper and quieter and once a few drivers have them, we expect a lot more to follow suit.

“This marks an important step forward in the city’s ambitions to improve air quality for residents as well as helping to reduce carbon emissions.”

The point is powered by 100 per cent renewable energy and allows a driver to recharge his cab fully in 25 minutes.

Drivers can save thousands of pounds per year in fuel costs by switching to electric vehicles while passengers will be able to request an electric cab and cut their carbon footprint.

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St Albans Green Party district councillor, Simon Grover, was involved in the project: “Alex approached me last November and told me about the company’s idea to bring electric taxis to St Albans.

“It was a very positive meeting and I am delighted to see the launch.”

The scheme, which uses the hashtag #ElectricRevolution, is being run in partnership with St Albans district council, which is slashing the cost of licences in half for electric taxis, and a local Nissan dealership.

Cabbies have been slow to take to electric taxis locally, with rise of US-based taxi app, Uber, destabilising the industry in London, but Alex says the benefits of switching are clear.

“Electric taxi drivers pay no road tax, no congestion charge and now have a 50 per cent reduction in the cost of their licence.”

Sarah Maclaren, from St Albans Friends of the Earth welcomed the news: “Schemes like this one represent a big step forward in St Albans’ ability to meet the challenge of pollution head on.

“This is particularly important at The Peahen junction where the air quality is persistently below EU safe limits, contributing to residents’ health problems.”