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Inverness Airport's new electric taxis are a first for Scotland after Hitrans and Transport Scotland link up with Inverness Taxis for European-funded project

By Val Sweeney

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Electric Taxis, Inverness Airport.
Electric Taxis, Inverness Airport.

INVERNESS is the first airport in Scotland to have dedicated electric taxis – thanks to a European-funded project.

Rapid charge points have been installed at the airport and the city centre to enable taxi firms to make the move to electric and offer low carbon transport services.

The venture has been led by the regional transport partnership, Hitrans, and is part-funded by Transport Scotland and the SPARA2020 project which was designed to address some the challenges facing peripheral and remote airports.

It has also involved Highlands and Islands Airports (Hial) and Highland Council plus collaborative work with partners from Sweden, Norway and Ireland.

Inverness Taxis, which was awarded a seven-year contract in 2017 to serve the airport, was granted a loan from Transport Scotland via the Energy Saving Trust to buy two electric taxis.

Gavin Johnston, managing director, is delighted his company is leading the way and plans to expand the electric fleet in the future.

“I believe that adapting and combining newest technology and innovation translates into greater cost efficiency and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and is something we should be all working towards,” he said.

Councillor Allan Hender-son, Hitrans chairman, said: “The experience and learning from Inverness Airport can be shared among

other airports in the Northern Periphery and Arctic area and beyond to help introduce more low carbon transport services at airports.”

Airport general manager Graeme Bell said electric vehicles were becoming more common.

“Hial, which operates Inverness, made the switch to 100 per cent renewable energy-backed supply in 2018, taking an important step towards reducing our carbon footprint,” he said.

“We hope the introduction of electric taxis at the airport inspires other companies to switch to lower carbon energy sources.”

Matthew Eastwood, of the Energy Saving Trust said such facilities were crucial in supporting the growing number of electric vehicle drivers in Scotland.

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