License granted for East Devon's first zero emission private hire vehicle

PUBLISHED: 13:12 19 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:20 19 September 2019

Left to right: Steve Saunders, East Devon Licensing manager, Giles Salter, East Devon solicitor, Cllr Sarah Jackson,  Cllr Kim Bloxham, Cllr Paul Jarvis,  Mr Bakos (applicant). Picture: East Devon District Council

Left to right: Steve Saunders, East Devon Licensing manager, Giles Salter, East Devon solicitor, Cllr Sarah Jackson, Cllr Kim Bloxham, Cllr Paul Jarvis, Mr Bakos (applicant). Picture: East Devon District Council

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A private hire license has been granted for a zero emission car for the first time in East Devon.

The district council's licensing sub-committee has approved an application submitted by Szilard Bakos to operate his electrically propelled Nissan Leaf saloon car for his new Sidmouth-based business Eco-wheel.

An application of this nature usually requires the vehicle to have an engine size of no less than 1000cc, however, electric vehicles, which are run on battery power, have no engine capacity.

Committee members granted Mr Bakos his application and said the council's taxi policy needs to be updated to include electric vehicles.

In a joint statement, Cllr Paul Jarvis, chairman of East Devon's licensing committee, and vice chairman Cllr Kim Bloxham, said licensing a zero emission vehicle for the first time was a pivotal moment towards carbon neutrality.

They said: "It was absolutely the right decision to make an exception to the council's policy, which now needs to be amended to take account of new vehicle technology."

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