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Luxury transportation and environmental responsibility tend not to go hand in hand.
While luxurious, private jets are terrible for their passenger’s ecological footprint and while they are a novel experience, tandem bicycles may not be the most effective way to reach that business meeting across town.
Current Taxi wants to solve this dilemma with its new innovative fleet of luxury transportation Teslas. With it’s full business launch happening Friday, Current Taxi is aiming to be the most convenient, luxurious and environmentally friendly way to catch a ride in Kelowna.
“We want to fix two problems in the valley, have more transportation cars on the road and do it while reducing CO2 emissions in the Okanagan,” said Current Taxi CEO Dale Conway.
According to Conway, they offer a more premium level of service but charge customers the exact same price as the competition.
“It's about offering a better product for the same amount of money,” he said. “The other feature is the environmental aspect, in Kelowna there are no other electric taxi fleets.
“There are hybrid vehicles on the road but there are no fully electric vehicles and our taxis are much more environmentally friendly than even the cleanest hybrids on the road today.”
Conway is confident in the business, but he said it has been a very long process. Getting a transportation license in B.C. means proving a need for the service. The reason they were eventually granted a license is because of their environmental goals, he said.
“The big goal of the business is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in the valley,” he explained. “Each one of our cars will produce over 13,000 pounds less CO2 than even a brand new hybrid.”
Current Taxi had a “soft launch” on February 9th and Conway said the response has been humbling.
“Everyone has talked about the quality of customer service,” he said. “As we establish ourselves in the coming years I'm very optimistic that we will be successful.
“Businesses want to work with us because we are going to pick their clients up in a luxury car, but we are also going to make their business more green by doing so.”
If you’re wondering why Current Taxi is taking up home in Kelowna, Conway seems to think it’s the perfect market.
“If you look at the demographic and the tourists that come through the city, I can't think of a better place to start this company,” he said. “The hospitality sector is strong and the municipal and provincial governments are a 100% on board for sustainable business getting started in their community.”
They chose to drive Teslas because they knew they wanted a high-end, luxury vehicle, that was also green. According to Conway, other electric cars don't have the range needed to be a taxi.
When hiring for the company, Conway said their number one priority was finding safe drivers who also had great customer service skills. He said you can expect the “ambassadors” to have gum, mints and cell phone chargers readily available to customers.
“It's little tiny things we can do to make sure customers have a excellent experience,” Conway said.
To book a current taxi, download their app online.
--With files from Dylan McCullough.