Addison Lee reinforced its environmental credentials by being named Green Fleet of the Year at the 2013 Fleet News Awards – just 12 months after winning it for the first time.
This latest accolade recognised how the private hire company is continuing in its efforts to seek out and develop new technologies to cut emissions.
For example, it is partnering with Qualcomm Halo, the Government, the Mayor of London’s office and Transport for London to hold the world’s first trials of wireless electric vehicle charging.
However, while it’s keen to be involved in cutting-edge technology, the company has also maintained its focus on the present.
It has used technology to cut its emissions by a third over the past 10 years, while a car sharing scheme and emission reporting for clients have also played their part.
In 2004, Addison Lee began development of a bespoke auto-allocation system to improve the efficiency of its fleet, which has led to a significant drop in ‘dead mileage’ – the distance driven without passengers.
By programming a ‘going home’ option, drivers can request a job in the direction of their home at the end of their shift.
In addition, it has added 300 Toyota Prius hybrids to its operation, making it the largest private hire hybrid fleet operator in the UK.
Lee Wickens, CSR and quality manager at Addison Lee, says: “Our fleet is in continual development.
“We are always looking to implement new projects that help us to reduce and control our emissions and all other environmental impacts related to our business activities.”
Fleet News: How have you encouraged smarter driving techniques among your drivers and how do you maintain their focus?
Lee Wickens: Smarter driving is a very effective technique to save petrol or diesel and we were keen to ensure Addison Lee drivers were offered smarter driving courses.
These courses were developed by the Department of Transport and are delivered by the Energy Saving Trust.
Our Topographical and Knowledge School has also trained more than 12,000 drivers. The school is designed to improve the student’s knowledge of London roads.
It consists of mapping, getting to know the vehicle, call overs and the assessment. The course typically takes three months, although some drivers may take shorter or longer than this time.
The Addison Lee Driver Diploma is designed to cover all aspects of private hire vehicle driving and includes eco driving, customer service, conflict management, defensive driving, cyclist awareness and emergency first aid.
The diploma has three different levels – bronze, silver and gold – giving drivers the opportunity to improve their skills and get a better grading within the company.