Phoenix Taxis: Driving the future of passenger transport
As they enhance their fleet with an all-electric eVito Tourer, find out how this forward-thinking firm are pioneering the new age of the taxi industry.
From their beginnings in 1990, Phoenix Taxis were committed to providing a stellar service that supported their local community. But it’s not just their strong roots which sets this business apart.
In 2012, Phoenix put the UK’s first ever electric taxi on the roads, setting themselves up for a journey to become the country’s leading sustainable passenger transport provider – and today, as they welcome their latest acquisition of a Mercedes-Benz eVito Tourer to the fleet, we’re catching up with managing director Michael Carling to find out more.
Going the distance with Mercedes-Benz eVans
So what makes the eVito Tourer perfect for Phoenix Taxis? Firstly, Michael says, the range is more than enough to make up the mileage of a taxi’s average day. “There’s always a concern about range with electric vehicles,” he admits, “and at first we weren’t certain if it was going to be viable… but the van has a good enough range that we haven’t had to make any significant changes to our day-to-day operation.” The average combined WLTP range of 221 miles1 in the latest version of the eVito Tourer is more than enough for most businesses, as Mercedes-Benz research shows up to 96% of journeys could be made in an electric vehicle2.
Charging ahead with the eVito Tourer
It’s not just the range Michael is impressed with, he’s found that charging, too, is quick and simple – with rapid DC charging bringing the van from 10-80% in just 40 minutes3. “We charge ours on site between journeys,” Michael says, “so we don’t have to pay anyone externally… but in and around Northumberland the Council have done a very good job of providing the infrastructure to make electric vehicles work.”
Cutting costs with every journey
And not only is the business saving money on fuel with the eVito Tourer, they’re also seeing reduced running and maintenance costs. “There’s an obvious saving on fuel, but there are also less moving parts in an electric vehicle – which means less time in the mechanics and less time the drivers can’t be on the road,” says Michael. “We also pay for the electricity ourselves with our chargers on site, and because electricity is cheaper per mile than petrol, there are massive cost savings for us there compared to petrol and diesel. And that’s a massively positive thing for a taxi company that needs all its vehicles on the road as much as possible.”
Customers, too, enjoy the quieter journeys in the fully electric 8-seater, and Phoenix Taxi’s corporate clients are delighted by the ability to offset their carbon footprints by choosing an electric option. “We’ve been at the forefront of using electric cars as taxis since they were first available,” says Michael. “The Tourer is the first fully electric vehicle that’s been a realistic option to use as a taxi – and as soon as we knew it was available, we wanted to be the first to get it on the road… it works for us.”
Steering a more sustainable future
Today, thanks to their commitment to the cause – and their smart choice of vehicles – Phoenix Taxis are highly renowned in the North East and beyond for their 80-strong fleet of electric and hybrid taxis, which make them one of the most environmentally focused taxi firms in Europe.
Michael, for one, is optimistic about this enthusiasm for electric catching on. “If we can make electric vans work as a taxi company, where we need to have our vehicles on the road 24 hours a day and 365 days a year – then anyone can make it work… I’d be convinced that at least a few of our customers have bought electric vehicles off the back of getting in a Phoenix Taxi.”
1 The 221 mile WLTP combined range based on eVito Tourer PRO models. Electrical WLTP range for the eVito Tourer models range in miles (Km): combined 217 (350) – 221 (355). Electrical consumption in kWh/100 km: combined 25.1 – 25.4. CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 0.
2 Mercedes-Benz research analysed 1.6 million journeys anonymously on the EQ Ready app and 96% of all journeys were shorter than 100km (62 miles).
3 Charging times are subject to the power available at the location where the vehicle will be charged as well as factors such as temperature and cable type used.