Fuel prices drive Reading fleet to Prius choice

PD-Prius-logo_smallReading-based private hire firm 500 Cars has become the first operator the town to run the Toyota Prius on its fleet. The company has added two of the hybrid cars to its 80-car fleet as a first step in reducing its carbon footprint.

 Each of the firm’s cars covers about 30,000 miles a year and the company estimates the fuel bill for the new vehicles will be 40% lower than for the diesel cars they have replaced. Managing director Archie Grewal said: “Hybrid cars are ideal around towns as they are completely carbon-free at low speed. They are a viable product and have huge environmental benefits. The cost of fuel has increased and these new cars helped relieve that pressure and mean we have been able to ensure the cost of our fares stays competitive.”

Toyota claims the Prius’s Hybrid Synergy Drive gives only 89g of CO2 at a combined fuel consumption of 72.4mpg. The Prius has already proved popular in London, where many operators including Green Tomato Cars, Climatecars, Lewis Day and West One Cars use them as PHVs.

Grewal added: “Customers have commented on how quiet they are, and when drivers explain it’s a hybrid car they have been very positive and generally think it’s a great idea. We expect other private hire and taxi firms will follow suit, which will be a real benefit to Reading.”

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