The Toyota Prius Plug-in is set to join the growing list of hybrid vehicles used by London’s licensed minicab drivers.
Openstart Ltd has put in an order for 80 of the rechargeable hatchbacks which are available for the first time to private hire operators through the Public Carriage Office (PCO).
Prius Plug-in offers hours of pollution free driving around London, thanks to its superb all-electric driving range – conditions depending, the Prius Plug-in can cover around 15 miles in EV mode.
A super-efficient lithium-ion battery means a full recharge can be done in just an hour and a half – simply by connecting the car to a workplace, home or roadside power supply.
Owner and managing director of Openstart, Hamid Tehrani, said, ““We have always been pioneers of new technology in the PCO, right from when we first introduced automatic transmission to our fleet, something that’s gone on to become a default feature.”
Adding, “We are delighted now to be including Prius Plug-in, introducing our customers to the great benefits of Toyota’s simple, reliable, low emissions plug-in hybrid system.”
Toyota’s National Fleet Sales Manager, Stuart Ferma, said, ““Our hybrid Prius and seven-seat Prius+ are proven favourites as private hire vehicles and we’re delighted that we are able to help Openstart develop the potential of Prius Plug-in as another strong proposition through the PCO.
Adding, “Prius Plug-in can deliver lower running costs, lower emissions and ease of use in the urban environment. And unlike all-electric vehicles it’s a ‘best-of-both-worlds’ proposition, as the hybrid petrol engine is automatically engaged should energy levels be depleted, or extra power be needed.”
Openstart has already taken delivery of 50 of its new Prius Plug-in, joining a fleet that has already added more than 60 standard Prius and Prius+ cars this year.
All of its new vehicles are being supplied with a charging cable that will allow no-fuss connection to public charging points across London.