Hybrid taxis are starting to become more common in the UK, and with an increasing consciousness of environmental sustainability that’s hardly a surprise – but some people are still unsure of what exactly the benefits of investing in hybrid taxis are. So, here’s some information about the environmental and health benefits of hybrid taxis, to enable you to make an informed choice.
There are a multitude of benefits environmentally to switching part or all of your fleet to hybrid taxis. Firstly your emissions will be significantly reduced – this I’m sure is no great surprise, but it’s still one of the primary benefits of using hybrid taxis. The major background of global warming is carbon dioxide emission into our atmosphere, of which transportation is the second largest contributor. For every gallon of gasoline burned, 20 pounds of carbon dioxide and other green house gases enter the atmosphere. By switching to hybrid cars you can slash your fleet’s emissions, all the more important where you’ve got a significant number of cars out on the road. This is a benefit in terms of your business and your branding, as well as in terms of doing your bit – you’ll be letting people know that you and your company care about the environment, and that when riding with you they can be assured they’re reducing their carbon footprint while still getting where they need to go in comfort. Hybrid taxis also reduce noise pollution significantly, particularly as most have a start-stop engine system, meaning that they won’t idle when stationary with the engine on – particularly relevant to the kind of urban driving that your taxis undertake on a daily basis. Idling a car is not only a totally unnecessary waste of fuel, but also a major contributor to emissions and noise pollution, so by removing it completely you’re instantly removing a significant portion of the environmental concerns caused by frequent urban driving. Once a hybrid has rolled to a stop, the internal combustion engine is shut down to conserve fuel and eliminate emissions, at which point the car’s battery pack takes over, until the vehicle is once again moving at a quick enough speed to require the ignition of the gas engine.
The environmental benefits of hybrid cars are certainly more discussed in the media, but there are also significant health benefits that mustn’t be overlooked. When living in a city your respiratory system is constantly exposed to emissions of all kinds, primarily traffic related – and this is no less true just because you’re the one driving the car. In fact the proximity to the fumes means these emissions are effectively being blown into your face, so it’s more damaging to us than larger-scale industrial emissions that might often cause more concern. Vehicle related pollutants are on the rise as a primary cause of asthma, lung disease, and a whole host of other respiratory problems – so by switching to hybrids you can make a dent in this risk to the public and your drivers’ health.
Some people are deterred from investing in hybrid cars for their fleet as initially they require a bigger financial outlay than traditional non-hybrid taxis; however it’s best to see it as just that – an investment. In financial terms it’s an investment in a car that will create significant savings on fuel costs once in use, particularly without the idling that we’re all so familiar with in urban driving. But it’s also important to see the bigger investments in our environment and our health, even though these benefits can be difficult to see over a small timescale. Another potential deterrent is doubts about the performance of a hybrid taxi. Sure you’re not going to be rally driving around the streets of your city, but you still need to know that you can get where you want to, when you need to. The secret to the high performance of many hybrid vehicles is the fact that electric motors deliver their maximum torque instantaneously, rather than having to wait for the motor to spool or rev up each and every one of its lb-ft are available as soon as you hit the accelerator.
As you can see, the benefits of the hybrid car speak for themselves and although initially the cost of the vehicle may be higher than a non-hybrid taxi, the benefits to our health and perhaps more significantly, the environment, are well worth the money. In a world where we are so greatly concerned about reducing carbon emissions and our carbon footprint, as well as becoming more ecological in ourselves, a hybrid car is no doubt a huge step forward. Environmental benefits aside, the monthly savings due to more efficient fuel consumption and the readily available tax incentives are a fantastic encouragement to make the change to a hybrid taxi.