Suffolk: Taxi firm Envirocars targets carbon neutral travel
GET off an aircraft in the Far East of Australstralasia and you will be met by a line of smart environmentally-friendly cars ready to whisk you away to your destination.
Ipswich businessman Lee Dinmore thinks it’s about time the UK embraced the same attitude to business travel.
And his answer is Envirocars, a fleet of 10 carbon neutral Toyota Prius private hire cars that use hybrid technology to minimize emissions.
The impact of the fleet is completely offset by the planting of trees in Bury St Edmunds. What is more, hybrid cars are cheaper to run, making your fare substantially cheaper.
“Lots of companies are improving their environmental credentials and want to be seen to be green,” said Lee. “We offer an up-market service with uniformed drivers suitable for business use as well as trips to and from schools, hospitals or for leisure use.
“Compared to other countries we are slow to take up this opportunity and after a think tank exercise with local business people it seems the demand is there and we hope that local companies will take up the new service.”
Based at Bentwaters near Woodbridge and servicing the whole of the east Suffolk and Ipswich area, Envirocars can save you money whether you need running to a London airport or are attending a charity ball and don’t want to worry about the drive home.
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All the drivers work on a self-employed basis but drive cars owned by the company. All are experienced and have been hand-picked by Lee and have a commitment to arrive promptly and to make your journey as stress-free as possible.
The cars proudly display their green credentials and give credit to other businesses that have supported the venture including Ipswich Toyota and design agency Trebuchet who have worked on the company’s branding. There’s even a small penguin or polar bear worked into the design to remind passengers of the environmental message and the contribution that choosing Envirocars makes to the environment.
“We think they look great,” said Lee. “The branding also helps with the safety aspect because if you book one of our cars they will stand out from the other taxis. On that issue all of our drivers carry ID and are licensed by Suffolk Coastal District Council and female passengers can also request female drivers, if they wish.”
Lee is also embracing the latest ‘wave and pay’ technology for settling the bill. By next year he hopes that a simple swipe of a smart phone at the dashboard will take care of the fare meaning cash doesn’t change hands, which make his drivers less vulnerable.
Booking an Envirocar couldn’t be simpler and can be done by phone, text or email. If you are out and about and need picking up, that message will go to the server which will send a message to the nearest driver and then programme his satellite navigation to take the car straight to pick you up. In the meantime you will be sent a message to say the car is on its way. Simple.
“We’ve really have had the opportunity to think this through and hope we have developed a much-needed professional taxi service which is not only carbon neutral but will also work out cheaper and be very simple to use,” he added.
To help introduce the service, Envirocars are offering a 10% discount on all fares this summer, making them even more competitive. Visit www.enviro-cars.com for details.
n Envirocars features in the July edition of Suffolk Business magazine, which is out now. Read it for free online at www.suffolkbusinessmagazine.co.uk .