United Kingdom
Sector: LPG

Phoenix Taxis - ash-free burning

Autogas is steadily becoming the fuel of choice for fleets of company cars. Here comes yet another example – a British taxi company who chose to ditch diesel cabs in favour of petrol ones converted to run on LPG in the name of saving money and the environment.
Phoenix Taxis Saab 9-3 cabs© Phoenix TaxisYou might not notice they are LPG-powered, but the advantages are plenty

Phoenix is a legendary fowl who bursts into flames whenit dies and is then reborn from the ashes. Phoenix Taxis is reborn thanks to autogas, but ash is scarce if any at all, since the propane/butane mixture burns very clean, with virtually no solid state combustion byproducts. The Northumberland-based company has to date converted 84 of its 130 cars, so the majority of its customers ride in cabs greener than average, sometimes probably without actually realising it. However, there are also those who consciously choose Phoenix Taxis for the company's LPG preference and clearly wish to be driven in autogas-powered cars only. As for the cars, the fleet is dominated by Saabs and Skodas, which do not mind being used for heavy-duty driving or running on a substitute to petrol.

With autogas as fuel, everybody is happy with Phoenix Taxis' taxis. Customers are glad to be driven in comfortable conditions with only as much pollutants emitted into the air as absolutely necessary, the fleet operator – incidentally, the largest of its kind in Northumberland – is glad to see money being spent slower. Thanks to LPG conversions, fuel bills paid by the cab company have been cut by a third, enabling Phoenix Taxis to improve service without raising the rates. The plan is to have all the cars eventually adapted to run on autogas instead of petrol. Some electric vehicles will join the fleet, too, but for now LPG is a priority.

No wonder why, since autogas cabs earn a pretty penny, require little expenses in return and are favoured by eco-conscious customers. Given those customers actually notice the difference, since LPG taxis look rather unassuming and are the same as their conventional counterparts in terms of performance. Is it all advantages and no drawbacks? Apparently! The relatively small number of autogas outlets in the UK (approx. 1400 across the country) is not a problem, either, for Phoenix Taxis has their own filling stations. This means they need not drive in vain just to refuel at half the regular price (LPG costs 74,3 pence per litre, petrol – 138,9 and diesel – 143,6 pence per litre), the risk of running out of autogas is also next to none.

One may say an autogas-powered taxi is nothing out of the ordinary. True, but for example in Poland it is the driver who chooses his car and the fuel he or she refills it with. With Phoenix Taxis, this is all different – it is the company who makes the decisions, thus ensuring a coherent image in the eyes of customers. The cars are easily distinguished and associated with the company's responsible, sustainable approach to business. Now that is what we would call a comprehensive solution! Be inspired and go ahead – in this case, not only is „piracy” not condemnable, but it is actually worthy of praise instead.


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Robert Markowski
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