First electric taxi service for Fort
A FORT William businessman has launched the first fully electric, zero- emission taxi service in the Highlands.
And his expansion plans could see him leading the way in Scotland with his electric car chauffeur service.
Scott Easson, who was born and bred in the west Highlands, has always been interested in electric cars. He bought his first one in 2015 and set up Elecar. He initially operated a chauffeur service using a Tesla car but in November last year, he introduced a taxi service using a Nissan Leaf.
Mr Easson said: ‘ Business is going quite well. People get very interested in the electric cars when they get in them. The taxis are getting more popular.’
He is already planning to expand the business and has ordered a second Tesla car – a model which is not yet in production. ‘I’ve ordered a Tesla 3. I’m the first in Scotland to order one so I should be the first in Scotland to have one when it comes out at the end of this year, although I’m not expecting to get it until 2018. I want to promote electric cars. They’re really smooth and quiet to drive, and there’s no servicing costs.
‘The environment is a big part of it. It means customers and other taxis sitting behind me at a rank don’t have to breathe in fumes from my car.’
Mr Easson is also trying to get more charge points installed around Fort William, particularly rapid charge ones which allow for much faster charging. There is only one such point in Fort William at the moment, in the An Aird car park behind Morrisons.
‘I’m trying to work with Tesla to get a specific Tesla charge point put in,’ added Mr Easson.
He is aware there is a conception about electric cars being dangerous because they are so quiet and therefore people might be less likely to hear coming, but he doesn’t believe there are real safety issues with them.
‘People will walk out in front of cars that are not electric just as easily.
‘I’ve also read that more people are killed through fumes given off from cars than actually being hit by them, so in that respect the electric cars are safer.’
The long-term plan for Elecar is for it to be a 24/ 7 service in Fort William, perhaps as soon as next year, although at the moment availability of suitable cars is still an issue as electric cars are still a relatively new concept.
Scott uses the Tesla S 85D Supercar (L) for his chauffeur service and weddings, and the Nissan Leaf, back, for his taxi service.
Scott and his daughter Emily with the Nissan Leaf electric taxi.