Black taxi app Gett has become the UK’s first ride hailing app with the option to book exclusively electric vehicles.
Gett Electric rides are available in London from 10am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.
Drivers use TX Electric taxis which seat six passengers and have USB ports, wifi, temperature control, a glass roof and wheelchair accessibility. They have a range of 80 miles.
Gett CEO Matteo de Renzi told Business Traveller the service could initially be slower than hailing a traditional cab, but would speed up as the size of the electric fleet increased. Currently around 300 of Gett’s 10,000 London cabs are electric.
“It’s still in the early stages,” de Renzi said, “but you can see an estimated arrival time and decide up front whether to choose a standard version, which comes in four minutes on average.”
“We’ve had an incredible number of requests from users about when they can request an electric car,” he added. “And for businesses it’s more and more important to show for their corporate responsibility programmes they care about the environment, so we have also had a lot of requests from businesses.”
Neil Parish MP, chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, said: “The London taxi trade is modernising and the TXE cab is an important part of that journey. Its environmental credentials mean it is playing a significant role in reducing air pollution in London. It’s great to see Gett supporting this new environmentally friendly step.”
Gett operates in 120 cities in Europe and the US, and says it now works with nearly half of all black cab drivers in London. It is Europe’s largest on-demand car service by revenue.
Though the ride hailing industry has faced regulatory hurdles as competitors battle for market domination in cities around the world, it has seen mammoth growth, with apps that match drivers with passengers expected to have around 697 million users by 2022.
Last year, analysis of business-travel spending by Certify found that 68 per cent of ground transportation spending went to ride-sharing companies, led by Uber (56 per cent) and Lyft (12 per cent).