Thursday, 25 September 2014

London: Tesla-only taxi service opens GLiiDE is an all Tesla taxi service launching in London, allowing residents of this English capital to get around without emissions or congestion charges, reports EV Fleet World. Billing itself as London’s first all-electric taxi, GLiiDE is based around a smartphone app and corporate portal that handles booking, tracking, and payment for effortless transactions.

Convenience, luxury, and the Tesla Model S are three reasons GLiiDE says customers should choose its service, though it also claims to undercut traditional black cab service by as much as 50%. Payment goes through a linked credit or debit card, receipts are sent via email, and its Twitter feed is already showing plenty of signs of life.

But the biggest reason to want a ride in GLiiDE is a chance to experience first hand the Tesla Model S, a vehicle that has been praised by just about everyone that’s driven it. GLiiDE is also claiming the cost savings from going electric and being able to avoid the costly London congestion charge mean it can undercut traditional black cab services for a ride in a case many have heard about, but few have experienced.

Alas, for the moment at least, GLiiDE is invite only, which is basically a closed beta to work out the kinks. If/when it opens up to the public as a whole though, this slick company could have people lining up just for a ride around town. A similar idea has launched in nearby Kent, and a few taxi services in the US and Norway are giving the Model S and other EVs a shot at livery work.

GLiiDE looks to be the slickest attempt yet to integrate electric cars into 21st century taxi service, as long as it works. There’s a reason taxi companies haven’t rushed to replace their gas guzzlers with Teslas or LEAFs.