First Hybrids, Now Plug-Ins? London Taxi Firm Aims High

The website of UK based EVUK – the Campaign for Real, Long-range Electric Vehicles – recently carried an intriguing report that plug-in hybrid taxis may soon be heading for the streets of London. The report references an article in the Guardian which interviews Tom Pakenham, co-founder of Green Tomato Cars, who were previously reported on by Tree Hugger here. Apparently not content with their status as the only 100% hybrid taxi fleet in the city (possibly the world?), they are planning on further greening their vehicles by converting them to plug-in technology. Unfortunately, neither the article nor the company’s website gave details of when these conversions might happen, so Tree Hugger contacted Tom directly for more details. His response is included below:

We would very much like to convert our entire fleet to plug-in electrics. Indeed, the ideal scenario would be to have a fleet of pure EVs. The obstacle we face in doing this is the cost of the conversion and the danger that converting a vehicle will invalidate the warranty from Toyota. I would say therefore that conversion is a goal for the future that we are hoping, and expecting, to achieve. The number of vehicles we convert will depend on the obstacles outlined above.

Because of these obstacles, timing and details are thin on the ground. Of course, these things can change very quickly, for example if a partner joined the project to assist with the capital costs of conversion.

It seems London’s most environmentally responsible taxi firm is intent on turning an even brighter shade of green… [Written by: Sami Grover]

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