Green Tomato Cars is planning to upgrade its entire fleet to either zero emission or hybrid vehicles by the end of 2018
The London-based private hire company operates a fleet of around 500 vehicles. Almost all of these are Toyota Prius hybrids, although it does operate a number of diesel six- and eight-seater MPVs. It also operates a hydrogen fuel-cell Toyota Mirai.
Upgrading the fleet is a key part of new managing director Jonny Goldstone’s plans for the company. He is the original co-founder of Green Tomato Cars who has returned to the company.
He said: “The changes in the competitive landscape and the Mayor’s pledge to introduce an ultra low emission zone by 2019 have helped us focus on what makes us special.
“We’re now going back to our roots and will be leading the way with advances in environmentally-friendly vehicle technology and making sure we treat all our customers, drivers and staff, as well as we can.
“We expect to have some major announcements in both those areas in the coming months.”
Goldstone founded Green Tomato Cars with fellow ex-City lawyer Tom Pakenham in 2006.
The company grew rapidly and in 2010 it was acquired by Transdev Group.
Goldstone stayed on to see the company through a period of sustained growth until 2013 when he relocated to Washington DC to establish Green Tomato cars there.
He returned to London two years later where he worked as a consultant, and was invited back to Green Tomato Cars when previous MD Julia Thomas relocated within Transdev to Chicago to help run the group’s US business.
Early changes Goldstone has instigated include an upgraded website and a simplified process for drivers and business clients to apply to work with Green Tomato Cars.
He added: “‘Disruptors like Uber promote themselves as tech companies that happen to need people, with high tech and (by their own admission) unsustainably low prices being the driving force of their businesses.
“While everyone at Green Tomato Cars embraces the use of technology to help provide the best possible service, I believe the private hire business is all about people: passengers, staff and, above all, drivers.”