Green Cab goes ‘greener’: Company flips switch to all-electric Teslas

Teslas to hit road starting Oct. 23

As Wisconsin aims to be carbon neutral by 2050, an area company is making a change that will help.

Soon, Green Cab will be one of the nation’s first taxi companies with a fleet made entirely of Teslas.

That’s according to Green Cab and Zerology, an area tech-startup that aims to accelerate the growth of eco-friendly transportation. A partnership between the two is powering the switch from Green Cab’s hybrid Priuses, which it’s deployed since it started nearly 10 years ago, to the all-electric Teslas.

“Transportation takes up over 25 percent of carbon footprint in the atmosphere. We need to do better. Now today it’s electric, whereas before it was low-emissions. We think we’ve been doing our part, but we think we can continue to do better,” Green Cab President Jodie Schmidt said. “We’re making an investment in our community, doing what we can to help make Madison one of the greenest cities.”

The announcement Wednesday came with support from Madison’s Mayor’s Office and Wisconsin’s Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.

“As my office focuses on the issues and core principles of equity and sustainability, and with my responsibility overseeing that work in the newly created Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy, these are the exact type of efforts we love to see and hope to see them replicated all across Wisconsin,” Barnes said.

The Priuses have served Green Cab well, but their time is coming to an end. The new Teslas will be on the road picking up customers in late October. @WISCTV_News3 pic.twitter.com/IYF8rqKNHS

— Madalyn O’Neill (@news3madalyn) October 16, 2019

“People are excited about it,” Green Cab driver Cameron Ramsay said.

He took the job five years after retiring from his family business, Madison Sourdough. He enjoys getting people where they’ve got to go.

“I drive people of all walks of life. It’s exciting,” Ramsay said. “You get the pulse of the city.”

Now, he’s looking forward to Green Cab driving his city into the future.

“This is like cutting-edge technology,” he said. “It’s amazing.”

It’s estimated the Teslas will be able to travel more than 300 miles on a full charge. Taxi drivers usually put on about 200 miles a day. Green Cab is also planning to build a solar charging station at its home base.

“They’re the most technically advanced vehicle and actually the safest vehicle on the road today,” Schmidt said.

Ramsay’s still getting used to the new technology, which includes voice commands and safety features.

“The Tesla can actually read if someone’s braking fast and then it can brake,” Ramsay said.

Beyond that, Ramsay said they can go.

“These things are fast,” he said.

Ramsay thinks the Teslas are a fast-track to the future.

“With the sustainability and the just taking the whole green philosophy and actually putting it to work,” he said. “This is really an exciting time for the entire community.”

Fares will stay the same for customers, according to Schmidt.

The Teslas will be out on the road starting Oct. 23, with 30 to 40 of them rolling out by the end of the year.

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