With £1.5million growth funding from Simply Asset Finance the London firm will accelerate expansion that’s already underway. This has seen decommissioning of 250 diesel-powered vehicles so far and put 450 green, digitally connected and correctly licensed flagships on the road.
Its qualified drivers are sole traders and small business owners who rent the vehicles from Sherbet Electric Taxis and today’s clients are increasingly corporates, primarily in the West End and the City, who want to reduce their carbon footprint and be driven by a company committed to net zero.
Despite taking a big hit during lockdown, founder and chief executive Asher Moses has pressed on with his pioneering eco agenda and unwavering dedication to the iconic London black taxi. In 2025, if scale up continues on track, he is forecasting a £180million turnover.
“There’s no substitute for the quality of service black taxis deliver,” declares the forward-thinking former cabbie who never holds back in calling out the shortcomings of rivals.
“Our drivers are properly trained and treated. For example they know how to transport wheelchair users safely and stop in the right place. Our electric fleet is very popular and we are proving the taxi trade can be revolutionised and be part of sustainable city transportation.
“We are innovating from within. For our drivers this work is a business career, not a stop gap. Joining us is a lifestyle change, driving is smoother and easier.”
The taxis Sherbet invests in are produced by the London Electric Vehicle Company at its plant in Coventry.
Developing taxis’ potential to the max has been a key part of Sherbet’s strategy with its app-backed Ride service guaranteeing a black cab, its Drive service providing two warranty centres around the capital offering maintenance and repairs and its Sherbet Advertise, a mobile messaging revenue generator.
“Both the outside and inside of taxis are perfect for promotions. Ours are packed with smart tech,” Moses explains.
“We have an in-house media agency specialising in electric taxi advertising and offer packages for brands wanting sustainable advertising and have a high level of control. Our moving billboards can be used to cover hard-to-reach areas and sophisticated analytics can track coverage.”
For Mike Randall, chief executive of Simply Asset Finance, “at Simply we believe that small business owners deserve better. Asher is an example of an entrepreneur who is an innovator and forward thinker, he works incredibly hard, and his success has enabled him to create jobs in his local community and drive the economy forward. We are really proud that we have been able to support Asher as he transformed his business into a significant fleet of electric taxis.
“Technology will never replace the benefit of trusted relationships, but it does enhance them. At the height of the pandemic SMEs struggled to get access to lending, despite often being multi-generational businesses. Our doors remained open, and we continued to support these businesses throughout.
“It is vital that business owners can access support from lenders who understand their business – they want to trust their lender and know that they have a grasp of the issues they are facing.
“That is why when Simply was established, we built the team with industry specialists and the technology to support them – they have also been on the other side of the fence and are acutely aware of the issues their businesses are facing”.
Sherbet is now undertaking a trial in partnership with city authorities in Sheffield.
“Public demand is definitely there,” says Moses, but stresses if the UK’s net zero ambitions are to be realised eco entrepreneurs need more official incentives.
“We would like more support from Government and Transport for London to speed up the transition,” he declares, “better access is needed for taxi businesses who share the green ethos.”
Published at Wed, 09 Nov 2022 16:41:45 +0000