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Eco-friendly taxi firm awaits decision over licence for zero emissions drives

PUBLISHED: 14:56 24 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:56 24 May 2018

A licensing application has been made for a new taxi firm using a Nissan Leaf. Picture: Stewart Writtle

A licensing application has been made for a new taxi firm using a Nissan Leaf. Picture: Stewart Writtle

S WRITTLE

An eco-friendly taxi firm promising a zero emissions drive is awaiting a decision over whether it will be granted a private hire vehicle licence.

Leon Davies and James Phillips have applied to Broadland District Council for a licence to set up their own green taxi firm, which will solely use electric cars.

Operating under the name Zero Taxis, the firm will use a Nissan Leaf electric car, which claims in its vehicle specification - submitted with the application - to offer a zero emissions drive.

The application is to go in front of the council’s licensing and regulatory committee next week, with councillors having to decide whether to make exception to their conditions to grant the licence.

A report which will go before members said: “The council encourages the use of eco-friendly vehicles.

“Any application to licence a vehicle with an engine capacity of less than 1300cc will be considered on its own merits.

“The vehicle has been inspected by officers who have determined that, other than the engine capacity, the vehicle complies with the standard licensing requirements.”

With the vehicle being electric, it does not have an engine - with the motor powered instead by a battery. This model in particular is powered by a 40kwh battery.

The committee will also be required to determine whether the exception - if made - will apply to the single application, or the Nissan Leaf model in general.

The officer’s report also addresses potential issues around charging points, saying electric vehicles can take up to 7.5 hours to charge.

However, it added: “Public charger points are located around the country at various locations such as supermarkets, service stations and car dealerships.

“There are currently several charging points in and around Norfolk.”

If Mr Davies and Mr Phillips are successful in securing the licence, they would join other Norfolk taxi providers which make use of eco-friendly vehicles.

In 2013, Norwich-based ABC announced it would be adding low emission vehicles to its fleet, while Green Frog taxi’s exclusively runs hybrid cars.

Broadland District Council’s licensing and regulatory committee next meets on Wednesday, May 30.

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