Taxi driver happy to be ‘saving planet’ with his electric car

New electric vehicle better value than second-hand petrol car

Taxi driver Peter Hanley with his electric car. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Taxi driver Peter Hanley with his electric car. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

Dublin taxi driver, Peter Hanley became one of the first taxi drivers in Ireland to work in an electric car when he bought his new Nissan Leaf just over a year ago. “It started out about saving my pocket but now I’m happy to be saving the planet as well,” says Hanley.

The car cost him €21,500 after discounts of €4,000 for scrapping his old car and a €5,000 government grant paid directly to the car dealer. “I was switching from night time taxiing to days and I discovered it wouldn’t cost much more to buy a new electric car than to buy a four-year-old second-hand petrol car and I’d save on fuel costs too,” says Hanley.

The greater level of comfort is the main advantage to driving an electric car, according to Hanley.

‘Floating along’

greenhouse gases

Running out of battery charge (as opposed to fuel) is, however, the biggest concern for drivers of electric vehicles. There are about 1,200 charge points across the island of Ireland.

Most of these are standard charge points where it can take between three and eight hours to charge an electric car.

There are about 70 fast charge points, mainly at service stations, which Hanley says are his best option. “I can charge the battery from 30 per cent to about 80 per cent in about 25 minutes, giving me about 120 km,” he says.

Battery charge

However, recently Hanley has found many of these fast charge points aren’t working. “I think that they aren’t being maintained as well as they used to be.”

While other taxi drivers haven’t expressed great interest in his electric taxi, Hanley says that his customers really enjoy the electric vehicle experience. “They love it. One woman said it was the best car for putting her make up on in. Another told me it was like sitting on a marshmallow.”