Good day to you, my name is Andy Jones, I am a Taxi Operative with Alpine Taxis.
I have had the privilege of working for / with Alpine Taxis based in Hockley, Essex for the best part of a decade. In that time, I have noticed changes in attitude towards Customer expectations whilst using our service, customers want cleaner, environmentally friendly vehicles and feel special knowing that their journey is not adding to local air pollution.
When I first started the vehicles were competent but rather old school, they did the job but were not in the least efficient, this is not a reflection on the company but a sign of how it used to be. There was no other affordable options at this time. Things have changed!
Over the last 2 years I have noticed a marked changed in the quality of vehicles Alpine is now providing, all these vehicles (Skoda Fabias and Rapids) are privately owned and maintained by Alpine Taxis and they have a vested interest in keeping the fleet in good order. Very competent vehicles!
Now Alpine Taxis really have excelled in their vehicle choice! I am the very happy Taxi operative that has his hands on their latest vehicle a Vauxhall Vivaro 1.6L High output 8 seat MPV (Multi Person Vehicle).
It has a lot of the latest emission technology built in, N0X reduction equipment for example using AdBlue. All good. However, it seemed whilst using the ECO mode it was very reluctant to perform as I would desire. Easy to stall, frequently requiring a lower gear on urban driving and whilst not a bad experience, not an easy one either for me the driver. I must admit I was a little sceptical as to how this vehicle would help the environment if I had to keep using non-ECO mode.
Then a Hydrogen producing cell was fitted, it uses distilled water which is converted to H2 and 0 which as I understand it produces a more efficient detonation/burn when injected via the air intake to the diesel mixture which is almost completely burnt, end result? Less Black Soot produced and more power output. The MPV does not stall so easily now, it accelerates much more efficiently even when the Taxi is fully loaded. Motorways are a breeze! I have noticed that I am getting 30 to 45mpg in general usage dependent on either local or distance travel. That’s Great! For a 40hr+ shift of sometimes quite heavy usage it is using approx. £70-£80 a week of premium diesel, that is far better than the £140 a week using the earlier MPVs which used the cheaper Diesel. Higher cylinder operational temperatures equate to less soot which means the DPF (Diesel Particle Filter) should not need to Regenerate (Clean itself), as often as it would have done. Result = Less Emissions no NOX (due to Adblue) which has been converted to Nitrogen and Oxygen and Less Soot production. I feel very happy about that!
My Fuel choice is the Premium Diesel! An 8-seater returning 40+MPG, and an increased power output with minimised emissions! Why should I not smile as an Eco Warrior. And I am using ECO Mode of course. Overall a very welcome addition to the fleet, and if looked after properly there is no reason why it should not endure the Taxi Trade usage. I acknowledge that the vehicle will need TLC in monitoring system requirements but for me that is a small price to pay.
My customers have been very complimentary about the fleet and this MPV. And I am enjoying the experience of driving an Eco-Friendly vehicle of which, I have just been informed at the time of writing this the vehicle is producing zero harmful emissions. This I feel is the way forward for all Diesel vehicles, and that ultimately, they could become the most environmentally friendly vehicles of all. Well done Alpine. Let’s look at the next stage “Activated Charcoal”.