Ireland’s first electric taxis take to the road

8 Jun 2011

One of Europe’s first electric taxi services has been launched in Dublin today, offering people a taste of how environmentally friendly electric transport can enhance city living.

ESB ecars and Dublin-based NRC Taxis teamed up to offer the first electric taxi (e-taxi) service in Ireland.

The new initiative was unveiled in Dublin City by ESB chief executive Padraig McManus and NRC director Liam Brady today.

Two e-taxis will now operate on Dublin’s streets, including one wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

This is one of the first “working” electric taxi schemes in Europe and is part of a wider EU research programme that includes gathering data on the performance of electric transport in an urban setting.

Less noise pollution and emissions

As well as offering environmentally friendly driving around the Dublin City area, minimal emissions and reduced noise, the initiative will also give the public the opportunity to experience firsthand the benefits of electric cars.

The average daily mileage of a taxi in Dublin is in the region of 120km, which ESB says is well within the charging range of the Nissan LEAF, at 160km. The Peugeot Expert People Carrier has a range of 100km.

Charging the e-taxi

An overnight charge will fully power an e-taxi’s battery and it can also be “powered up” during the day if necessary, using fast-charge points.

In the Dublin area, fast-charge points are available at Topaz service stations in Glasnevin, Newlands Cross and Templeville, with ESB aiming to roll out 30 fast-charge points across Ireland by the end of the year.

Fast-charge points enable drivers to ‘power up’ electric cars from zero to 80pc of their capacity in less than 30 minutes.

Speaking today, McManus said: “Providing e-taxis means that a far broader spectrum of people can now be introduced to electric vehicles and experience their many benefits. We want to present the public with the opportunity to embrace the use of e-cars and the e-taxis will facilitate far wider access.”

Brady added: “We are acutely aware of the positive impact that e-cars will have on the city environment. This is the start of NRC’s establishment of our green credentials and we are looking at ways in which we can further reduce and offset our carbon emissions.”

Photo: Pictured at the launch of Ireland’s first e-taxi service on Dublin City’s Molesworth Street are the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, TD, and Padraig McManus, ESB chief executive

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic