Ride-hail car supplier WeFlex rebrands as focus shifts to EVs

By Mark Bursa | 19 April 2021, 08:33

WeFlex, which supplies cars to private hire drivers on a rent-to-buy basis, has switched to supplying only battery-electric cars. The company has announced a rebrand to coincide with the change in strategy, with a new green ‘lightning bolt’ logo. WeFlex was founded by former Climatecars boss Nicko Williamson. Climatecars was a pioneering “green” private hire…

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Mercedes EQS header pic

First deliveries of Mercedes-Benz’s all-electric EQS chauffeur saloon expected before year-end

By Mark Bursa | 16 April 2021, 07:50

Mercedes-Benz has released details of its much-anticipated EQS model – the first all-electric luxury chauffeur car to hit the market. The EQS goes on sale in late summer, and at that time, UK pricing and specification will be announced, ahead of first UK deliveries, which are expected before the end of the year. It’s expected…

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Hyundai Kona

Hyundai Motor partners with Uber to offer discounted prices on electric cars for Uber drivers

By Mark Bursa | 14 April 2021, 09:18

Hyundai Motor formed a strategic partnership with Uber in Europe that will offer Uber drivers discounted prices on its Ioniq Electric and Kona Electric (pictured), as well as future Hyundai electric vehicles. The agreement is another step in Uber’s plan to become a zero-emission mobility platform by 2030. Last year it announced a similar arrangement…

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DG Cars Leaf

DG Cars partners with Walsall’s 247 Cars to acquire Lichfield-based City Cars business

By Mark Bursa | 7 April 2021, 09:04

Nottingham’s DG Cars, one of the strongest-performing private hire fleets over the past 12 months thanks to its strong diversification into the delivery market, has made a major acquisition in Lichfield, in partnership with another major fleet, 247 Cars of Walsall. The two companies have jointly acquired City Cars Lichfield, in an innovative deal that…

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streetcars Aqeel Arshad

StreetCars continues Manchester consolidation move with ScottsCars acquisition

By Mark Bursa | 2 April 2021, 17:40

Manchester’s largest private hire operator, StreetCars, has acquired local competitor ScottsCars, based in Hale, adding a further 200 cars to its fleet. The move, the latest sign of consolidation in the private hire sector as it starts to recover from the Covid-19 crisis, increases the dominance of multiple QSiAward-winning Street Cars in the local market.…

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Bolt Sam Raciti

Bolt launches operations in Peterborough as 200 local drivers sign up to the ride-hailing app

By Mark Bursa | 31 March 2021, 16:20

Ride-hailing operator Bolt has launched operations in Peterborough. London’s second-largest ride hailing app, behind Uber, Bolt said its plan was to bring greener transport to the city. So far almost 200 drivers have signed up in Peterborough, and the firm hopes the number will grow in the future. Sam Raciti, Bolt general manager – UK…

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Swarco

New taxi-dedicated EV charging infrastructure will help Wales hit zero emissions targets

By Mark Bursa | 30 March 2021, 20:36

Electric car infrastructure provider Swarco eVolt has won a contract from Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) to install rapid chargers dedicated to taxi users at 31 locations across 10 local authorities in south-east Wales. The deal will also help the Welsh Government meet its target for zero emissions from taxis by 2028. The installation work is…

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Bolton

Bolton council agrees £700 Covid-19 support package for taxi and private hire drivers

By Mark Bursa | 30 March 2021, 20:35

Taxi and private hire licence holders in Bolton will each receive a £700 Covid-19 support scheme after the local borough council approved a support scheme for those hit hardest by the pandemic. The council confirmed that the scheme will provide licence-holders with a payment of £700 to meet a range of vehicle-associated costs. The announcement…

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Mercedes EQS dash pic

Mercedes reveals spectacular digital dashboard of new electric EQS executive saloon ahead of August on-sale date

By Mark Bursa | 29 March 2021, 22:53

Mercedes-Benz has released images of the interior of its forthcoming EQS battery-electric chauffeur saloon, which will go on sale in August. The EQS is produced alongside the new S-Class and the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class in Mercedes’ new carbon-neutral ‘Factory 56’ at Sindelfingen, Stuttgart, the company’s most modern automotive plant. The EQS will look different to the…

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uber autocab

CMA clears Uber-Autocab takeover, finding ‘no competition concerns’ from investigation

By Mark Bursa | 29 March 2021, 13:50

In a landmark ruling, the Competition and Markets Authority has cleared Uber’s acquisition of Autocab following a Phase 1 merger investigation, stating that it found “no competition concerns” with the deal. The takeover allows Uber to grow its UK presence through the Autocab iGo network, allowing it to pass jobs to Autocab users in towns…

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Uber Green

Uber adds all-electric option to its central London ride-hailing service

By Mark Bursa | 29 March 2021, 11:41

Uber customers in central London can request an all-electric vehicle instead of a regular petrol, diesel or hybrid car. The ride-hailing giant has launched a new service called Uber Green, operating initially in London’s Zone 1 travelcard area.  It is the next step in Uber’s stated plan to be fully electric in London by 2025.…

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Beth Sampson Brunel

Travelhire takeover sees Brunel join Green Tomato Cars in growing London B2B private hire group

By Mark Bursa | 29 March 2021, 09:00

Car hire giant Europcar has ended its venture into the UK executive chauffeur and private hire market by selling its Brunel operations to the Travelhire Group for an undisclosed sum. It is the second major acquisition for Travelhire, which bought Green Tomato Cars in 2019, making it a major player in the London private hire…

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Blacklane Wohltorf

Blacklane takes on $26m of new finance to expand sustainable chauffeur services

By Mark Bursa | 25 March 2021, 22:20

Blacklane has raised $26 million in new funding to help it expand its global chauffeur service. The Berlin-based company has recently launched an app-based ride-hailing service add-on, and in February 2021 it bought London-based Havn, an electric chauffeur service developed by Jaguar Land Rover. Blacklane said it would use the latest round of funding to…

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ProDriver Congress Online – Rebuilding Business Travel

By Mark Bursa | 25 March 2021, 17:45

A series of focused, free Professional Driver webinars to help operators rebuild after Covid-19 Professional Driver is running a series of practical, focused online seminars where operators will be able to learn how the brightest companies have survived, and ask them how they did it. In our first webinar, we looked at the way taxi…

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Uber workers

Uber decision on worker status leaves unanswered questions on drivers’ pay and freelance status within the gig economy

By Mark Bursa | 17 March 2021, 22:35

Uber’s decision to change its business model and give benefits such as minimum wage, holiday pay and pensions to its drivers appears to have given the ride-hailing giant a first-mover advantage in the sector. And the decision to change its employment terms means Uber appears to have complied with most – but not all –…

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QSi Awards 2021

Major announcement: the Professional Driver QSi Awards dinner is back in 2021, bigger and better than ever!

By Mark Bursa | 16 March 2021, 08:01

We’ve missed you – and we know you’ve missed the Professional Driver QSi Awards. But the big news today is we’re back in 2021 – and we’re planning a celebration event that’s bigger and better than ever. Unfortunately the Covid-19 pandemic meant there was no chance of the 2020 awards happening. I think we all…

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PD Congress Online

Special delivery – ProDriver Congress Online, ‘Beyond the Passenger’, is now available to stream on demand

By Mark Bursa | 16 March 2021, 08:00

Our first ProDriver Congress Online Webinar is now available on demand. “Beyond the Passenger”, held on Thursday, March 11, took a deep dive into how moving into the delivery market has been a life-saver for taxi and private hire operators. With superb input from three operators that have made the move and bucked the trend…

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Take Me 4x

Take Me adds another operator with takeover of Cambridgeshire-based Steve’s Taxis

By Mark Bursa | 16 March 2021, 08:00

Fast-growing taxi group Take Me has made another acquisition, adding Cambridgeshire-based 4X Ltd, trading as Steve’s Taxis, to its growing portfolio. The acquisition is backed by investment holding company MBH Corporation, which has made 25 acquisitions around the world in a range of industries, including the taxi sector. In the UK,its taxi portfolio is centred…

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