Keighley firm tries out first electric cab

Private-hire boss Stuart Hastings with the electric car

Private-hire boss Stuart Hastings with the electric car

First published in News

A Keighley taxi firm is stepping into what could be the future of transport – by trialling an electric car.

Metro Taxis, in Church Street, has bought a Nissan Leaf and is investigating the possibility of switching more of its operations to electricity.

Owner Stuart Hastings said: “I’ve been driving it for the last week and I’m really impressed with it.

“We’re just using it as a company car at the moment and as a private driver I find it wonderful to drive – very powerful and good going uphill.

“If the trial is successful we would definitely start to buy electric cars instead of diesel.”

He said there were currently no public electric-vehicle charging points in Keighley, though if his firm did switch to using this type of car it would look to install its own rapid charger, which would take half an hour to top up the car’s batteries.

He said a car being driven as a taxi was used more intensively than most private vehicles, which is why his company needs to make sure electric cars are up to the job.

Councillor Graham Mitchell, of Keighley Town Council’s watch & transport committee, said he had been in discussions with Bradford Council about setting up a public electric car-charging point in Keighley.

He said: “Bradford Council has said it would be keen to put a public charging point in Keighley but would need this to be part funded by Keighley Town Council.

“The watch & transport committee is happy to support this partnership funding and we’ve allocated £2,500 to support this.

“It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation.

“People might say: ‘Well, there are no electric cars in Keighley’, but until you provide the public facilities for such cars to be charged, people won’t have the confidence to switch to electric.

“We have to provide some of the infrastructure first.

“We hope we’re at the beginning of a new transport phase and think it’s the sort of thing Keighley Town Council should be supporting.”

A Bradford Council spokesman confirmed the district council did want to support the installation of public electric-vehicle charge points.

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