A pioneering Northumbrian taxi firm is celebrating hitting the half-million-mile mark with its fleet of 100 per cent electric cabs, the first of its kind in the country.
Blyth-based Phoenix Taxis runs 26 all-electric Nissan Leafs and is adding to its fleet after placing an order with Gateshead’s Benfield Nissan garage.
The firm’s fleet of Washington-built Leafs have clocked up more than 500,000 miles between them since 2012, and because they cost an average of just 2p a mile to run, that has saved the company tens of thousands of pounds.
That figures accounts fora sixth of the three-million miles travelled by Nissan electric taxis nationwide since they were first introduced.
Phoenix Taxis managing director Alex Hurst said: “We spotted the potential in the Leaf all those years ago, and we’re now reaping the rewards.
“Our fuel bill is significantly lower than other taxi companies who still run traditional diesel-powered vehicles.
“We’ve just launched a brand new taxi system and app which allows customers to select a Leaf over a standard taxi. We’re now looking at introducing 10 more to our fleet, such is the demand for electric taxis.”
Its fleet of Leafs is supported by a network of rapid chargers at its Albion Retail Park headquarters able to charge up the vehicles from zero to 80 per cent battery capacity in as little as half an hour.
So popular are its Leafs that Phoenix is now expanding into County Durham.
The Leaf is the best-selling pure electric vehicle in the world, with almost 200,000 sales globally.
A new longer-range Leaf 30kWh is now available, offering 155 miles per charge, up 25 per cent on the range of its predecessor.
Chris Brown, innovation specialist at Benfield Nissan, said: “Phoenix Taxis is a forward-thinking firm.
“It spotted the huge savings it could make by running Nissan Leafs and has never looked back.
“As well as saving a significant amount of money on its fuel bills, it is also helping to improve the local air quality.
“The Leaf doesn’t emit any fumes, so it is the perfect car to transport passengers around.”