Hybrid taxi green, clean
GREEN is the way to go for taxi driver Phil Curtis.
A Toyota Prius hybrid car is the newest addition to Tweed Taxis' growing fleet, bringing a bounty of economical and environmental benefits to the Tweed Heads business.
The Prius is only three weeks into its run on the streets, but it has already begun to turn heads, cut back on petrol consumption and save money.
“It's a terrific drive and you can barely hear the engine. A lot of passengers have commented on that,” Mr Curtis said. “They're glad to see us taking this approach.”
The hybrid uses a combination of fuel and a 12 volt battery located under the boot to run.
The result is less greenhouse gas contribution and less money spent at the bowser.
According to Toyota, the car gets 100 kilometres for every 4.4 litres.
Mr Curtis drives the hybrid three days a week.
“When I compare it to my own car the difference is immense,” he said.
“The engine noise and the petrol consumption are just completely different.”
Tweed Taxis operations manager Murray Spence said he hopes to see more of the environmentally- friendly cars driving around the shire soon.
“It's cost efficient and environmentally friendly. It's win-win,” Mr Spence said.
“The drivers like taking it out, and we have had some very positive feedback from passengers.”
Mr Spence said hybrids are fast becoming part of every taxi company.
“We're just following the trend with a lot of other taxi companies already starting to add them to their ranks,” he said.
“It's a great business venture. In the long run they save us a lot of money.”
Mr Spence said the only downside is the smaller boot where the battery is stored.
“It's not that much different and there are too many positives with this car to worry about that.”
The taxi is owned by Regent Taxis and operated by Tweed Taxis.
Mr Spence said he would like to see more hybrids join the fleet.
“We will follow it up with more in the near future,” he said.