EnviroCAB was a cab company that was well-known for environmentally sustainable measures in its operations. EnviroCAB started in 2007 as a company providing taxi services in Arlington, Virginia. It was the first cab company to be launched in Arlington County since 1984, and the 7th to operate in Arlington. The model of EnviroCAB was to exclusively operate hybrid vehicles making it the first hybrid taxicab company in America. EnviroCAB’s slogan was “clean air for the same fare” , given that it provided alternative taxicabs that emit less carbon dioxide for the regular price charged by other cab companies. At the time of its launch, EnviroCAB was a leader in it’s kind in Virginia in that no other cab company was offering a similar service.
The idea of EnviroCAB came to the founder Hans Hess as he was in a cab having a conversation with the driver. Hans Hess had always been passionate about businesses that have health values, both to the society, as well as to the environment. He first established his reputation in D.C. when he launched the Elevation Burger Restaurant focusing on lean, organic burgers and fries that were prepared using olive oil. During the conversation, he realized that hybrid cabs would be a more economically advantageous model for the driver by helping them reduce their gasoline expenses. They would also be useful in reducing the amount of carbon emitted by cabs. Therefore he decided to start a company with all these features.
His hypothesis about hybrid cars being more economically advantageous to cab drivers than regular cabs turned out to be correct. One EnviroCAB taxicab driver reported spending $50 on gas every three days, which is an average of $17 every day. Such savings are essential to cab drivers who sometimes have to make monthly payments on car loans and auto insurance. Taxicab customers were very excited about EnviroCAB’s environmentally friendly service and because their cabs were clean and produced little or no noise. Sometimes customers would get so excited that they would jump the line in taxicab stands to ride on EnviroCAB’s hybrid vehicles, a behavior that other taxicab drivers do not appreciate. However, they couldn’t prevent customers from making a choice of which cab to take.
Initially, the company made an application to operate a fleet of 100 vehicles, but Arlington County Transportation recommended 35 certificates. On August 17, 2007, EnviroCAB announced that the company had been given a recommendation to operate a fleet of fifty cabs within Arlington county by the county manager Ron Carlee. This development marked an increase of fifteen certificates from what had been initially recommended by the county’s Transportation Commission.
The company pledged to reduce the emission level of all their taxicabs to zero and to do away with the emission of 2 existing cabs for every cab they put on the road using their plan to offset the emission of carbon dioxide. One of EnviroCAB’s fleet’s earliest editions was the Toyota Prius- an environmentally friendly model and a leader in its field. One of the advantages of the Toyota Prius was that it had lots of space, which is always a good idea for a cab. It also had high energy and fuel efficiency and performed relatively better than most hybrid vehicles. The model was also attractive to the company due to its low maintenance requirements.