NEW YORK, N.Y. (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — New York City’s transition to a fuel-efficient black car fleet has been delayed by the recession, but there is still strong demand by eco-conscious consumers for hybrids, and companies like the Corporate Transportation Group, Ltd (CTG) are expanding their hybrid fleets to meet that demand.
It was two years ago this week that Mayor Bloomberg announced his plans to mandate higher fuel efficiency for the city’s black car fleet, requiring a minimum rating of 25 mpg for new cars in 2009 and 30 mpg in 2010. But neither of the mandated targets have taken effect yet, deferred again and again by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) due to the hardships the industry has faced.
The 2008 credit crunch hit the car service industry from both sides, reducing demand as the financial service industry down-sized while making it much more difficult to finance new vehicles. The TLC cited both factors when it decided to defer the new regulations, and it is hard to argue that the industry could afford to comply with the mandate. However, amid the bleak economic news, the market has continued to support hybrid cars with steady and growing demand.
“Our hybrid trips are up almost 50% over the past two years,” said Eddie Slinin, President of the Corporate Transportation Group, Ltd, one of the largest car service companies in the city. “When we started our Hybrid Limo Express division in 2007, it was to serve a minority of our corporate clients who wanted greener travel options. But it was such a success that we quickly started expanding our hybrid fleet to accommodate demand from AllState, our division that deals with private clients. We now have one of the largest hybrid fleets in the city and we’re adding to it constantly.”
Fortunately for the Corporate Transportation Group, their early entry in to the market let them avoid the worst of the financing problems that are plaguing many companies as they try to enlarge their hybrid fleets.
Mr. Slinin said “We were an early mover into the hybrid market, and we bought hybrids while many companies were still buying standard town cars. That put our vehicles on the road before the credit crunch made it difficult to secure financing and forced many businesses to delay expansion plans. We have been able to add more vehicles at a reduced rate, but thanks to that early start we now have one of the largest hybrid fleets in the metropolitan area.”
The continued strong demand for hybrids through the downturn is due to the growing number of people and companies who want a green transportation alternative. Hybrid Express’s fleet includes Lexus RX400 Hybrid SUVs, Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUVs, and Toyota Camry Hybrids, all exceeding the 25 mpg fuel efficiency standard now scheduled to take affect in June 2010. With the average black car getting around 15 miles-per-gallon, a hybrid car uses less than half the fuel as a standard black car. Mr. Slinin explained that “Hybrid black cars are even more fuel efficient than their MPG ratings suggest because black cars spend so much time waiting for a client to arrive or to finish a meeting. They might end up idling for thirty minutes to an hour or more on a given job, and that adds up to a lot of wasted gas in a non-hybrid.”
The Taxi and Limousine Commission is waiting until the economy has recovered to push forward with its fuel efficiency requirements, but environmentally conscious consumers can act now by choosing to use hybrids. As long as there are people who care about the impact of their travel choices, companies like CTG will be willing to invest in a hybrid fleet and serve their needs.
CTG is a leading provider of ground transportation to Fortune 500 companies, handling half-a-million rides annually and serving 450 cities around the globe. Visit us online at www.corporate-trans.com or call 212-300-6958. CTG’s Hybrid Limo Express division has an all hybrid fleet. Call 718-643-333 or visit us online at www.hybridlimo.net for more information about CTG’s hybrid fleet.
AllState Car and Limousine Service, a division of CTG, focuses on providing affordable and reliable car service to private customers. AllState was rated the number one car service company by New York Magazine and the Robb Report. Call 212-333-3333 or visit AllState online at www.allstatelimo.com for more information.