Ride-hailing app Free Now (formerly Hailo and subsequently Mytaxi) has launched an electric-only booking option for corporate travel in order to limit its environmental impact.

Companies using the Free Now for Business service will be able to restrict employees to green vehicle options – EV black cabs or EV ride private hire cars. The app claims to have the largest electric fleet in Europe and the largest green fleet of black cabs in London. Free Now will also launch an emissions calculator next year, allowing companies to assess the impact of switching to electric taxis and cars.

The launch comes after the publication of new research carried out by Free Now which found that nine out of ten leaders in the City of London have placed sustainability as a top priority in the wake of Covid-19, while over a quarter of City firms have already moved to electric-only vehicles for corporate travel. Over half of the businesses surveyed have sustainability targets in place, with the remainder currently developing targets. Furthermore, half of the businesses have recycling schemes in place, while just under half have cycle to work schemes and renewable energy policies.

Jason Dunderdale, Head of Free Now Business UK, said:

“The coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it and given businesses the chance to step back and think about how they can change things for the better. Our research reveals sustainability is a top priority for City businesses in the aftermath of the pandemic, and travel will be central to this.

“That’s why we’re working to make business travel as green as possible moving forward – becoming the first ride-hailing app to enable employees to book only EV black cabs or EV ride private hire vehicles on our app.  Once current restrictions are eased and the City gets moving again, it’s important to ensure businesses have a travel policy that tackles climate change and protects our environment.”

Ride-hailing app Gett launched a similar service in 2018 in London, while the US-based Lyft allows customers to select “Green Mode” when booking a ride.

Free Now is active in 100 cities across Europe, with 14 million passengers and over 150,000 drivers. In the UK, the black cab service is available in London, Manchester, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Brighton, Reading, Oxford, Derby and Leicester. The mobility provider merged with fellow ride-hailing firm Kapten in September, meaning that both of their services are now available in one app.