Electric, News, City Car

Nissan's European electric taxi tally tops 500

A deal to supply a Hungarian taxi firm has brought the total number of Nissan electric taxis on European roads to over 550.

Green Lite Taxi Kft., based in Budapest, has purchased 65 Nissan LEAFs in a bid to become Hungary's largest zero emission fleet. 

Ors Levay, CEO of Green Lite Taxi Kft., which has installed seven quick chargers within the city to power the franchise, said: "We are delighted to be the first taxi company in Hungary to go 100 percent electric and the 199 km range means we only need to charge our taxis once during a shift. Along with the large savings on fuel and maintenance, the Nissan LEAF is very smooth to drive and almost silent, which means a more enjoyable journey for my customers and the drivers say typical 10 hour shifts are less tiresome."

Nissan delivered over 100 electric vehicles to taxi companies across Europe in 2015, making it the best-selling manufacturer of pure electric taxis. 

In Estonia, a LEAF owned by taxi company, Elektritakso, is said to have clocked up over 218,000 kilometres (135,459 miles) on its original battery pack, showcasing its durability and reliability.

In total, there are 80 electric taxis in Estonia, whilst in Lithuania, Nissan is set to deliver its first eight electric taxis to the Smart Taxi Company, based in the country's capital, Vilnius, for late 2015.

Nissan electric vehicles - which include the LEAF and the e-NV200, a passenger and light commercial vehicle - are becoming increasingly popular among European taxi businesses, with the Netherlands and the UK topping Nissan's e-taxi league table.

The newly launched 30 kWh LEAF is expected to be popular with taxi firms as it will enable drivers to travel 25 percent further than the standard vehicle.

Gareth Dunsmore, Director of Electric Vehicles for Nissan Europe, said: "We are so proud to be announcing this all-important milestone. Nissan has already delivered 30 percent more e-taxis this year than in 2014 and this figure is constantly increasing, as more taxi companies realise the benefits of becoming 100 percent electric."

SUV, News

Hyundai Tucson scores 5-star safety rating

Euro NCAP has revealed the all-new Hyundai Tucson scored a maximum safety rating in recent tests.

The European car safety performance assessment programme also tested the Vauxhall Viva supermini and Mazda's MX-5 roadster, revealing that while the Tucson topped the latest results, the Viva and and MX-5 fail to reach the 5 stars.

The new generation compact SUV achieved high scores in all areas of assessment, and when compared to its predecessor tested in 2006, the new model showed a 'worthy evolution' in terms of safety all-round, and more specifically in safety assist. Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) technology is offered as option on the Tucson but it was not included in the rating as the uptake is not estimated by Euro NCAP to be high enough.

The Vauxhall Viva was awarded four stars, resulting in a 'commendable' score for a car in this popular segment, yet the crash tests revealed the car's lesser-seen side. In the frontal offset test, the head bottomed out the airbag and in the side pole impact the chest was protected poorly. Chest protection offered to the rear small female passenger dummy in the latest full-width rigid barrier test was also weak while the driver slipped under the seatbelt, resulting in elevated risk at knee and femur injuries. Euro NCAP concluded that perhaps with better optimised restraint systems the Viva would have made a bigger impression.

The Mazda MX-5 also achieved a four star rating, as did the Audi TT tested earlier this year. The Mazda combined good all-round performance in crash tests with exceptional pedestrian protection thanks to the deployable bonnet fitted as standard. However, like for the TT, the fitment of the latest crash avoidance technology was felt to be unnecessary by Mazda for the fourth generation roadster. In particular the absence of AEB 'disappoints' says Euro NCAP as many similarly-priced cars in other segments offer this safety equipment at least as option.