Coventry’s taxi-making legacy is set to continue into a new green age of public transport after the launch of the first 100 per cent electric Taxi which is manufactured in the city.
The taxis made by Dynamo Motor Company, founded by Coventry businessman Brendan O’Toole, can drive up to 187 miles on a single charge of its battery, without producing harmful CO2 emissions – and it is about to hit the streets of his home city.
The taxis, made in association with Nissan, are now operating in London after its successful launch two months ago, and Brendan hopes to see many other drivers around the country using the Dynamo Taxi to help combat pollution.
He said: “Thanks to ambitious government targets to reduce emissions and an increased awareness of environmental issues among the general public, demand for electric transport is increasing dramatically.
“We knew the time was right to develop a 100 per cent electric taxi with enough range to encourage taxi drivers to ditch their old models and make the switch to electric.
“Since we launched the response has been absolutely fantastic. Local authorities, fleet owners and individual drivers have all shown interest in purchasing Dynamo Taxis.
“We’ve also had interest from several countries in Europe, as well as the UAE and Singapore.
“Although Dynamo Taxis are already being used in London and have caught the eyes of many, we also want to be strong in our home market here in Coventry.
“Coventry has excellent rapid-charging infrastructure already in place, and with the council under pressure to reduce emissions, the incentive for cabbies to have an electric vehicle has never been higher.
“And as more and more cities and towns improve their electric charging infrastructure, demand for our taxis will only increase.
“Coventry has always been at the forefront of taxi manufacturing, so we’re delighted this legacy will continue thanks to our Dynamo Taxi.”
Brendan felt the main reason drivers are reluctant to make the switch to electric is ‘range anxiety’ – where drivers do not want to switch to electric because of how often they will need to charge the car.
But with Dynamo’s ‘real world’ 130 to 160 mile range, thanks to its 40kW battery, is enough for many cabbies to consider purchasing one.
Once the initial purchase has been made, the running and servicing costs are approximately 15 per cent of a current equivalent diesel or petrol taxi.
One Coventry taxi driver, Neminathan Thuvaraganathan, has already bought one of the Dynamo taxis after being convinced to make the switch after a test drive.
He said: “Because it’s 100 per cent electric, it’s so much better for the environment and is far cheaper for me to run.
“It runs very smoothly as well – it is the best cab I have ever driven.”
Brendan added: “We know many cabbies would be happy to drive an electric vehicle if the numbers add up for them.
“And that’s exactly what the Dynamo does – its high range and low running costs mean any driver working in a place with home charging or a good charging infrastructure will save thousands of pounds by investing in one.
“We’ve already sold almost 750 taxis, and we plan to sell more than double that in 2021. To meet this high level of demand we will be looking to recruit in 2020 and strengthen our team of people here at Dynamo and bring taxi making into the electric era.
“Electric cars really are the future, and we’re so proud that our Coventry company will be one of the pioneers in making taxi journeys a lot greener around the UK and the world.”