Dublin's electric taxi has saved taxi driver Padraig Daly approximately €6,500 over the last 18 months.

The 100% electric Nissan LEAF, which has been part of a trial between ESB ecars and National Radio Cabs (NRC), has clocked up over 55,000km on Dublin roads.

The trial, to evaluate electric vehicles as part of the taxi industry, has been deemed so successful that it will be extended for another year.

Analysis shows that savings of up to 12.9% per km can be achieved by driving an electric vehicle, powered by night rate electricity, in comparison with a conventional car.

For 55,000km, this would equate to fuel savings of over €6,500 and a net reduction in over four tonnes of CO2 emissions.

In addition to the fuel and emission savings, electric vehicles also benefit from a government grant on the purchase price and significantly lower maintenance and service costs. They also qualify for the lowest band of road tax (€120 per annum).

Over the 18 months, services costs experienced by the e-Taxi were minimal.

The ecar can be recharged at night at the taxi driver's home through a dedicated home charge-point, allowing him to avail of low night rate electricity tariffs.

He can also easily charge during the day at any of the on-street charge-points around Dublin city, which have been installed by ESB.

Manager of ESB ecars, Dermot McArdle, said: "Ireland's first e-Taxi trial has been a huge success and we are delighted in conjunction with our partners, NRC Taxis, to extend it by another year.

"The long term trial in a real life environment endorses the suitability of Electric Vehicles as both taxis and for the general public.

"To support electric vehicles, ESB is continuing to roll out a growing network of public charging infrastructure. In Dublin alone, there are over 120 public charge-points, including 10 fast chargers."

"The e-Taxi has proved really popular with passengers," said Padraig Daly of NRC Taxis. "Most are pleasantly surprised at how well it performs in comparison to petrol- or diesel-fuelled cars, and how quiet it is."