Green Tomato Cars pulls the plug on Chinese electric taxi deal
Green Tomato Cars has pulled the plug on a deal to run a fleet of Chinese electric cars as private hire vehicles in London. Green Tomato Cars agreed a deal in 2012 to run a fleet of 50 BYD E6 cars alongside its fleet of Toyota Prius hybrids.
But Green Tomato Cars has now announced that the two companies had “mutually decided that we will not pursue this venture further”. Last year Green Tomato Cars delayed delivery of vehicles, claiming there were not enough suitable charging points in Central London.
BYD has since found a new customer for 20 of the cars, which are now entering service with new-start eco-chauffeur operator Thriev.
Thriev has installed two BYD rapid chargers at its base on Edgware Road, which will allow it to replenish empty batteries to full in just two hours. BYD claims the R6 has a range of 186 miles on a single charge, making them a far more viable proposition as a taxi than the UK’s best-selling EV, the Nissan Leaf, which has a quoted range of 124 miles, and is now in service with another new London operator, eConnect Cars.
Thriev is confident that the BYD E6 cars, which are not officially on sale in the UK and are leased from BYD in the Netherlands, will allow the company to expand its fleet to 1,000 electric vehicles within 18-24 months. It said it has an agreement with British Gas to build a network of rapid chargers across London.
Flashback to 2012: Green Tomato cars’ Jonny Goldstone (left) signs a Memorandum of
Understanding with BYD chairman Wang Chuanfu to buy 50 BYD E6 electric cars.