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East Anglia Future 50

Meet the first electric taxi fleet running out of a Norfolk home

PUBLISHED: 17:11 05 April 2019 | UPDATED: 17:11 05 April 2019

The team from Zero Taxi after they've won an Eco Award, Norwich.PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

The team from Zero Taxi after they've won an Eco Award, Norwich.PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A former RAF airman has swapped the cockpit for the driver’s seat to pioneer an eco-friendly taxi firm.

Zero Taxi have won an Eco Award, Norwich.PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodZero Taxi have won an Eco Award, Norwich.PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Zero Taxis, whose fleet has been on the roads for eight months, was founded by Leon Davies and Ashley Peacock, who saw a gap in the market for a 100pc electric taxi company.

They currently have 12 drivers and four Nissan Leafs, with the fifth on the way.

Mr Davies, the ex RAF aircraft technician and director of Zero Taxis, said: “In spring of last year I was working in Holland and was catching a lot of electric taxis like Nissan Leafs and Teslas.

“I started speaking to an electric taxi driver about how much he enjoyed driving them, how much he was saving in fuel and more importantly how much better it was for the environment.

The team from Zero Taxi after they've won an Eco Award, Norwich.PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodThe team from Zero Taxi after they've won an Eco Award, Norwich.PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

“We are about 95pc off the grid, very rarely do you dip into the grid for personal use. We really have thought through the whole process to make sure we can be as green as we can.”

Mr Davies uses solar panels on the roof of his house to charge the firm’s cars and runs the call centre from his garden.

The Nissan Leafs which Zero uses have a 62kWh battery which costs between £7 and £8 to fully charge and goes from 0-60mph in 7.5 seconds.

Mr Davies said: “It is great that youngsters are switching on to the idea of electric cars. It is massively important to think about the ways you can cut emissions and your carbon footprint.”

Zero Taxi have won an Eco Award, Norwich.PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodZero Taxi have won an Eco Award, Norwich.PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Zero Taxis won the 2018-19 Eco Award for small/medium business, with the judges saying: “This initiative marks a big leap forward in sustainable transport in the city. The move towards hybrid taxis has been really encouraging, but running an all-electric fleet brings unique challenges, and Zero Taxis has done a great job showing what’s possible.”

Mr Davies said: “We were gobsmacked when we won the Eco Awards; for such a young company to win was brilliant.”

The Zero Taxi app will be available to the public in the next two months.

For more information about the taxi firm, visit its website on: www.zerotaxis.com or call 01603 230 230.

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