Efforts to reduce air pollution in St Albans through the adoption of more sustainable modes of transport moved into high gear on Friday 3 July with the launch of the first fully electric taxi and rapid charging point in the City.

A new scheme, under the title #ElectricRevolution, run by St Albans­ based business, Electric Blue, is introducing the City’s 300 licensed taxi drivers to the benefits of switching to all­ electric cars, which are emission free and significantly more cost ­effective to operate than current vehicles.

St Albans Deputy Mayor, Cllr Gill Clark, enjoyed the first ride in an Electric Blue taxi, travelling from the Civic Centre to the new charging point in Adelaide Street, St Albans. The point is powered by 100% renewable energy, supplied by Good Energy, and allows a driver to recharge his cab fully in as little as 25 minutes.

In partnership with St Albans City and District Council, local Nissan dealer Glyn Hopkin, and other electric infrastructure partners, such as Evalu8 and APT Controls, Electric Blue offers taxi drivers the complete package and the opportunity to trial a taxi before they make the switch. As well as securing preferential rates on purchasing a car and reduced licensing fees, the business offers drivers a free home charging unit and provides advice on grants available from the Government.

The first Nissan Leaf EV taxi will take to the streets of St Albans next week, according to Managing Director of Electric Blue, Alex Calnan, from Redbourn, who started the business in 2014:

“Today marks an important step forward in the City’s ambitions to improve air quality for residents, as well as helping to reduce carbon emissions by harnessing electric power on our busy streets. We are very grateful to the Deputy Mayor for helping launch St Albans’ first rapid charging point We’ve received an extremely positive response from drivers so far and once the first taxi is operational, we expect take up to increase exponentially, as owners and customers see the benefits. The Electric Blue team and our partners are delighted that St Albans has embraced the Electric Revolution and we hope other urban areas will soon follow.”

Cllr Gill Clark, Deputy Mayor of St Albans City and District, said:

“I am delighted to welcome the #ElectricRevolution to our District. The rapid charging point is an exciting addition to the ten electric charging points already available around the District.”

The initiative is supported by St Albans City and District Council which is committed to enabling and delivering transport improvements, including greener transport options, and keeping the District Green.

Last month saw the launch of a Rapid Charger and the first all­ electric taxi in Watford and Electric Blue will be expanding its network across a number of major UK towns and cities during 2015. Electric Blue also expects to offer a wider range of electric vehicles this year, including 7­seater and wheelchair accessible vehicles.

A recent nationwide consumer survey highlighted St Albans as the worst UK city outside of London for vehicle emissions. Confused.com surveyed 2,000 motorists and ranked cities on a league table based on average emissions produced by each registered car across the UK, using data from a given postcode.

Source; Electric Blue

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