Our Senior EV Solutions Specialist, David Gee, enjoyed a fantastic day on Friday 10th October with Rugby Borough Council, plus a whole range of electric vehicle (EV) providers, and interested parties. An air quality and EV forum, we aimed to engage with the licensing trade plus local disability groups to test the practicality of various vehicles.

With almost 100 people in attendance including council representatives from several internal departments, local taxi drivers and operators, association representatives and vehicle exhibitors, it was a great day in sharing the world of EVs, and exploring the possibilities they offer to local communities. We were also joined by representatives from Solihull and Warwick Councils.

Dave was the main speaker at the event, organised by the licensing department for Rugby Borough Council. He explained how Electric Blue’s EVolve and e-Fleet services offer first-rate insights into the benefits which EVs can bring any fleet of vehicles, no matter the number. Benefits range from financial savings to reduced environmental impact; you can read more detailed information over on our Analysis page.

Plugging into a fast charger

As well as information given, and discussions shared, several demonstration vehicles were also present, including:

  • The Dynamo; available now, with their national launch planned for 23rd October.
  • LEVC TX; additionally eligible for the government’s plug-in vehicle grant as a purpose-built electric taxi, up to a maximum of £7,500.
  • Vic Young wheelchair-accessible vehicle; has already sold over 50 of these fully electric wheelchair accessible vehicles to be used as taxis, demonstrating that they offer a fantastic option for the taxi community.
  • Hyundai Kona and Ioniq; (the latter being the current comparative vehicle to the popular Skoda Octava), kindly provided by Sturgess Motor Group of Leicester. Both the Hyundai Ioniq and Kona are available as fully electric.

Rugby Borough Council have recently announced a climate emergency, and are demonstrating their commitment to making practical changes to improve air quality in their community. Electric Blue supports Rugby Borough Council in their drive to encourage greater EV uptake within licensing and their own fleet, as well as guiding them in developing their own EV strategy.

We are always delighted to witness such high engagement from the taxi community, and this event was no exception. After all, EV strategies and planning need to consider the current driving practices of the taxi community, in order to make the transition to electric fleets as smooth as possible. On this day, taxi drivers were engaged in all discussions, and were enthusiastic to explore the various demo vehicles, with several making appointments for test drives. Representatives from the disability groups also had the opportunity to test the practicality of the various vehicle models.

Whilst Rugby Borough Council are yet to determine their future steps towards implementing an appropriate and effective EV strategy, we are pleased to witness their initial drive, and the promising engagement from their taxi community. Local authorities are crucial in removing some of the most common barriers to widespread EV uptake, and so we await Rugby’s onward journey with eager anticipation.

Date: 30/10/2019