There have been a lot of questions both inside and outside of the auto industry regarding the longevity of electric car batteries. Well “Wizzy” the Nissan LEAF has been in service as a taxi in St. Austell, UK, has surpassed 100,000 miles since July of 2013, and its original battery pack, like 99.99% of the rest, is still going strong.
Relegated to daily taxi use, Wizzy has carried some 25,000 fares in its two years of service yet is still on its original set of brake pads and the original battery. Even hitting 100,000 miles though, the battery still has 98% of its total battery life left. We’ve seen similar stories from owners of the Tesla Model S, with some already pushing well past the 100,000 mile mark.
Mark Richards, Fleet Manager of C&C Taxis, the company that owns Wizzy, estimates that going electric saves about £8,500 (about $13,000) per year in fuel bills and maintenance costs. With five other LEAFs and a e-NV200 Combi in the electric taxi fleet as well, the savings add up to over $90,000 per year. “It’s no exaggeration to say Wizzy has transformed our business,” says Richards. Other electric taxi fleets are popping up all over the place, using everything from the Chinese-built BYD E6 to the Tesla Model S.
Once word gets out just how much money taxi companies can save by going electric, I expect we’ll see even more electric taxis hitting the road.