Atlas Transport Goes Green With Toyota

12 May 2006

One of London’s longest-established private-hire companies has joined the city’s green movement by switching part of its fleet to hybrid synergy drive – in the form of 10 Toyota Prius hybrid cars.

Atlas Transport Ltd, based in Fulham and covering the whole of the Greater London area, is swapping rented Seat Alhambra MPVs for purchased Toyota hybrids for its private hire and chauffeur-drive service – and hoping that its customers will prove equally keen to help the environment.

The company, which can trace its origins back 40 years to Atlas Cars of London, has a fleet of more than 100 vehicles covering all levels of door-to-door service, from motorcycle and van couriers to MPVs and chauffeur-drive.

The first five Toyota Prius cars were delivered in April, with the remainder due later this summer. “We’ve had them for only a few weeks but they’re running very well and the drivers are happy with them, particularly with their economical fuel consumption,” said Atlas Director Ahsan Raza.

Passengers had been commenting favourably on the Prius’s streamlined shape, he said, and particularly on the lack of interior noise when in slow-moving traffic.

“What’s amazing is that some customers don’t really seem to know about hybrid technology,” said Mr Raza. “Generally their first question is: ‘Where do you plug the car in at night?’.

“The drivers explain that the battery is self-charging and that a computer continually assesses the charge. When the battery starts to run low the engine takes command, re-

charges the battery and then switches the engine off. People still seem surprised at the concept.”

Operating up to 12 hours every day, Atlas’s Prius fleet are expected to rack up mileages of 45-50,000 miles a year. “With the sort of wear and tear you would expect in such conditions, this will really put the Prius to the test,” said Mr Raza.

“Operators such as Atlas Transport are giving the public a better chance to experience for themselves what the Prius is all about,” said Toyota Fleet’s General Manager Jon Pollock. “As Mr Raza points out, not everyone yet appreciates that a hybrid car can be so environmentally friendly and yet offer so much to its driver and passengers – and that it really doesn’t need to be plugged in overnight!”


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Atlas Transport Goes Green With Toyota


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