Hybrid cars are already a popular investment hen it comes to personal vehicle use, but they may be even more successful when used for rental vehicles and popular public transportation, mainly taxicabs. It would seem that taxicab companies would be the ideal recipients when it comes to hybrid conversion, but may cab companies are hesitant to invest their fleet in the business. When it comes down to it, hybrids just aren’t popular enough yet.
One company, Green and Yellow Cabs in Massachusetts, has already invested in one hybrid vehicle, and while it is popular with customers and gets up to 10 miles per gallon better than the average cab, there are a number of drawbacks to the system.
First is the fact that every hybrid the company buys has to be bought new, as opposed to the usual buying of used cars for cabs. Hybrid cars are still new on the market, and used hybrids a rare commodity. Parts and service can also be a hassle. For a hard-working cab it can take awhile to find a hybrid parts dealer, and local ones are scare. Often times Green and Yellow has to ship parts from as far as Michigan to repair their car.
But the company holds out hope. It’s evident that the current market isn’t equipped to allow for a fully hybrid fleet at this point, but Green and Yellow still plans on buying another hybrid in the future. Having a hybrid in the fleet not only increases business, with requests for the vehicle, it also strengthens the company’s environmentally friendly bottom-line, giving them a fresh, new, and contemporary feel as a cab company.
In order for more taxicab operations to use hybrid vehicles the infrastructure to support them has to be in place. Imagine a city where every cab is hybrid or electric. The amount of emissions decreased in crowded cities like New York or Chicago would be phenomenal, not to mention to greatly decreased dependence on petroleum. What it comes down to first is the individual’s willingness to support hybrid vehicles, making their availability and range wider, as well as bringing in easier ways to maintain and support them.
If the trend in hybrids continue, public transport and taxicab companies like Green and Yellow have a very bright future ahead of them