The Green Cab taxi company in Madison, Wisconsin, announced today that it is converting its fleet of taxis to electric vehicles. When complete, the move will make Green Cab the first in the nation to operate a fleet of fully electric taxis.
As the name implies, Green Cab has always had a focus on environmentally responsible taxi operations, a theme that manifests itself in its current fleet of hybrid cabs. Hopping over to the company’s website, its vision for a cleaner, greener fleet permeates Green Cab’s material, with constant messaging about helping consumers reduce their carbon footprint with the company’s current fleet of hybrids.
For now, Green Cab is Madison’s only all-hybrid rideshare service and has been in operation since 2010. We will keep a close watch on the news conference to see if we can get our hands on some of the financials behind the move, as the upgrade from a ~$25,000 Prius to a $40,000 Tesla Model 3 is still quite a step up in capital expenses.
Charging is also a question, as Tesla’s service agreement for its vehicles prevents vehicles used for commercial service from utilizing its Supercharging network. Building something like that at a dedicated depot would be costly, but could make sense if it supports a large enough fleet. Fleet operators live and die by vehicle utilization, so having a more expensive fleet vehicle sitting idle for hours at a time to charge at a 6.6 kW level 2 charger is likely not an option if the CFO has anything to say about it.
Full details of the transition will be shared at a news conference on October 16, but for now, we know that Green Cab is partnering with Zerology to enable the switch. Zerology currently operates an on-demand vehicle rental service that puts its fleet of fully electric vehicles up for rental by the hour.
In addition to its cleantech cred, Green Cab is also looking into autonomous vehicle technology as a potential solution in the future. Jodie Schmidt, a co-owner of Green Cab Madison, told Channel 3000 that, “I think there might be a role for us with AV trials or testing because we certainly understand the needs of consumers who ride in vehicles, and we understand processes like dispatching and maintenance.”