Private Hire/Taxi Company of the Year
This award recognises the efforts of the private hire and taxi sector and is awarded to the company that demonstrates a commitment to reducing CO₂ emissions within the fleet, and has incorporated a robust environmental policy into its present and future operations.
E-Connect cars offers passengers zero emission journeys with a fully electric car fleet. Starting with five Nissan Leaf Teknas in January of 2014, the fleet has now grown to 55 vehicles and clients are now able to book an executive option with the Tesla model S, as well as a business class with the top of the range Leaf. Whilst most trips are less than five miles, journeys as far afield as Cardiff and Hereford have been undertaken using the Tesla. In January 2016, E-Connect cars completed a successful crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube. Over 200 investors supported the use of electric vehicles as taxis and together raised nearly half a million pounds, part of which was used to extend the rapid charging infrastructure.
To address air pollution in London, Addison Lee has gone the extra mile with its five point plan, setting ambitious objectives for reducing carbon emissions. 3,500 drivers have undergone fuel efficiency training, which Addison Lee says equates to 15 per cent reduction per tank per driver. As well as investment in hybrid and EV technology for its fleet, Addison Lee is now reviewing battery disposal, waste vehicle oil as well as waste tyres. Waste oil is collected and burnt off site for energy. Working with Ford, the taxi firm is looking to recycle used engine oil into plastics which can be used for new vehicle manufacture. Vehicle tyres are also incinerated in a kiln.
Green Tomato Cars
Founded over a decade ago with a fleet of four Toyota Priuses, Green Tomato Cars is celebrated its 10th anniversary by launching a new service. ‘Hyrbid’ combines Green Tomato Cars’ two Prius services to give customers access to a larger hybrid fleet in one place. Pricing for the new ASAP Hybrid service will be based on distance travelled and journey time, which is designed to better reflect traffic conditions, while the Green Tomato Cars’ pre booked service will continue to offer fixed pricing. The company’s dispatch software minimises the distance its drivers travel without passengers on board, while telematics has been introduced this year to improve driver behaviour and reduce collisions. As well as environmental reductions through its fleet, last year alone Green Tomato Cars offset 1,000 tons of CO₂ emissions – the equivalennt 142 double decker busses.
Streamline Cars (York)
Streamline Taxis is the longest serving taxi company in York. Since 1937, Streamline Taxis has been providing the city with a dedicated 24/7 all year round taxi service. In recent years the company has invested heavily in greener technology for its own vehicles in an attempt to contribute as much as possible towards a reduced environmental impact, and has recently been awarded ISO 14001 to recognise the Environment Management Processes. Currently 10 per cent of its fleet are either hybrid or electric vehicles, which is due to icnrease next year. Streamline is also looking to convert wheelchair-friendly vehicles to LPG for lower emissions.
Helping to improve air quality is high on the agenda of this year’s winner. With cutting edge technology that has reduced emissions by 33%, and a commitment to now “geo ring-fence” high pollution areas and restrict their vehicles to EV mode while in them.
Central Taxis (Edinburgh)
Premier Cabs (Blackpool)