Hybrid taxis coming
TAXI passengers will hail hybrid cars when the Tweed Heads Coolangatta TaxisService begins to convert its fleet early next year.
Manager of the local taxi service Murray Spence said a move to upgrade the fleet to hybrids would begin in March, 2010.
Wheelchair-accessible vehicles and people mover taxis would continue to be used in the fleet but other vehicles would be updated to hybrid cars as they came up for replacement.
“The taxi industry is waiting for the Toyota Camry hybrid, which is a six-cylinder hybrid car,” Mr Spence said.
“We have one Toyota Prius at the moment which is a four cylinder hybrid but the car is a little bit small to have for the whole fleet.”
“In the tourist area we are in, drivers never know who they are picking upand the Prius is a bit small for passengers with luggage to take to the airport.”
Mr Spence said the current Toyota Prius was bought when a taxi was written off in an accident with a drunk driver in the other vehicle.
“The owners just decided to buy a Toyota Prius as the replacement.”
Mr Spence said the move to hybrid cars meant a third of the running costs were cut.
“A lot of owners are hanging out for the hybrids because of the costs,” Mr Spence said.
Toyota Australia has stated the hybrid Camry would use approximately 30 percent less petrol than the regular four-cylinder Camry and was expected to use between six and seven litres of fuel per 100 kilometres travelled.
The hybrid Camry will be the first Australian-made hybrid car with full-scale production to begin in December and will go on sale from February next year.