Kelowna’s Current Taxi has gained approval to expand its all-Tesla electric vehicle fleet to Victoria, B.C., with a launch in the province’s capital set for December 1, 2019.
The province’s Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) regulates taxi licenses and approved Current Taxi to run a fleet of 15 Tesla taxis in Victoria, while also approved the company’s Kelowna fleet to expand from seven to 13 Tesla vehicles.
“We believe that it is our responsibility to do better than the current standard in the taxi industry for the environment, and for our customers,” said founder Dale Conway, speaking to the Times Colonist. “It’s our goal to revolutionize this industry one ride at a time.”
The PTB panel said it received 16 submissions from taxi companies opposing Current Taxi’s plan to expand, with nine in Victoria and seven in Kelowna.
Local opposition came from the likes of Victoria Taxi, Bluebird Taxi and Yellow Cab, arguing there was no “public need” for more taxis in the city. Victoria has 68 taxi companies and 345 vehicle licenses according to the PTB, with most being independent drivers operating under the name of a larger firm.
One letter of support came from B.C. Green Party Leader, Andrew Weaver, who said “Current Taxi’s application provides us with an excellent opportunity to illustrate that the green economy of the future is possible.”
B.C. is expected to launch ride-sharing by Christmas, according to Premier John Horgan.