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Electric private hire cars launched in London

Private hire chauffeur operator Thriev has launched a fleet of 20 zero-emission, fully-electric BYD e6 cars in London, the first 10 of which go into service today powered by a London-wide charging network rolled out by British Gas.

Thriev offers low-cost, zero-emission, chauffeured vehicles to corporate and private users in London. The BYD e6 is ideally suited for private hire operations, providing a range of up to 300 km(186 miles) and the 20 private hire cars will be able to be recharged both at the depot and on the road thanks to British Gas.

The new fleet is the result of a shared ‘green city solution’ vision, to bring reliable, emission-free transport to London’s roads, replacing petrol and diesel powered vehicles with electric ones. The 20

BYD e6 vehicles operated by Thriev join two fully-electric BYD buses that are already in service with Go-Ahead Group on two central Transport for London routes.

The Thriev service will rely on a brand new city-wide charging network installed by British Gas, which has been leading the delivery of the UK’s charging infrastructure for electric vehicles since 2010. The first rapid chargers, made by BYD and capable of charging an e6 to 80% in just 30 minutes, have already been installed at Thriev’s Edgware Road facility. As the service expands across the UK, creating one of the largest of its kind, it will eventually see each unit of electricity matched with a unit of 100% British renewable electricity.

Matching the latest vehicle technology is Thriev’s use of the latest smartphone technology in the form of its booking app. The app, available for Apple and Android devices, allows customers to book a car in just three clicks. GPS allows the vehicle to be tracked in real-time on a map and the app also retains a history of previous reservations in the last 30 days for expense management and allows users to quickly rebook a repeat trip.

Arvind Vij, CEO and a co-founder of Thriev, said: “We are delighted to see the new BYD e6 private hire vehicles, which feature our unique branding, go into service in London. Thriev offers its customers a true revolution in transport, using modern technology to offer private hire services. Ultimately, our aim is to provide a zero emission and cost effective alternative to private car ownership in congested large cities like London."

Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe, said: “It is great to see our e6 on the roads of London in private hire service only a matter of weeks after we became the first manufacturer to have fully-electric buses in operation in the capital, too. We are delighted to be working with Thriev, which shares our vision to provide safe, reliable and efficient green transport in cities”.

Andreas Atkins, Head of Electric Vehicle Services at British Gas, said: “Innovations like Thriev make it possible for us to travel around with the best of both worlds, making major reductions in our carbon footprints and saving money at the same time. We’re aiming to convert 10% of our fleet to electric vehicles by 2015, and we’re glad to be helping other businesses to do the same.”