Meet the Team: Taxi Drivers Ashley and Chris
Posted on August 8, 2012
We found time in the busy taxi schedule to speak to Ashley and Chris, two of our five London cabbies.
Ashley has been a licensed London taxi driver for 38 years, regularly covering over 25,000 miles a year. Ashley was keen to be one of our drivers, “it's great to take part in the trial of a technology of the future and I'm keen to keep the environment clean too.”
After driving the fuel cell electric taxi for a week, he had this to say, “The only thing you can hear in this [taxi] is noise from other traffic. It's quiet, it's smooth and it's absolutely fabulous.”
Ashley also told us about two of his most famous passengers, “I think the most famous people I've driven would have to be Princess Margaret and a Royal Prince from Saudi Arabia.”
Chris has been driving London taxis since 1975, and during that time he has seen many changes to London and to the taxis that he drives. “The taxis I have driven have moved with the times and my current model features a catalytic converter, which is a move in the right direction for better air quality in London. When I heard about the possibility of test driving a hydrogen taxi, I felt it was too good an opportunity to miss.”
Chris usually drives passengers around London, but many interesting journeys have also taken him outside of London, including three times to Cardiff, once to Taunton and many times taking students back to nearby universities. Outside of taxi driving, music is a big part of Chris' life. He regularly gets together with a group of friends to write and perform songs, often in the back of a cab.
Chris' passengers, who have included Jack Nicholson and Joanna Lumley, expect a smooth, quiet and prompt service and he thinks the fuel cell electric taxis would be great at providing this. “These vehicles are wonderful to drive and they're so quiet that the loudest thing I can hear are the voices in my head - beautiful!”