If you think Schiphol’s new airport taxi video looks like a car commercial, it’s because, technically, it is.
That’s because not only has Amsterdam’s airport made a commitment to green by issuing a bid to Dutch taxi companies for concession to operate a new fleet of more than 100 electric luxury cars–it selected the Tesla Model S for the program.
The Tesla Model S turned heads at the airport. Passengers questioned on the video appear enthusiastic, and a bit dumb-founded. “It’s green..but it’s blue!” says one gentleman who probably doesn’t work for an advertising agency. The cars also come in white.
The Tesla Model S airport taxi service will be operated by three winning companies: Zorgvervoercentrale Nederland B.V. (ZCN), Willemsen-de Koning B.V. en Bergisch, Boekhoff & Frissen B.V. (BBF). According to a statement from Schiphol airport, the winning companies “provided a significant contribution to the sustainability ambitions of Schiphol in the field of air quality and C02 emissions. The offers of all parties were innovative and very high level.”
Here’s official video revealing the Tesla Taxis, which will be fully deployed on October 16.
For its part Tesla Motors hasn’t missed the promotional opportunity of this new deployment at one of Europes’ largest airports. It has featured the video promotion from Schiphol in its Social Media Channels, including Twitter, Facebook and on LinkedIn.
— Tesla Motors Europe (@Tesla_Europe) October 3, 2014
The promotion has worked well both for Tesla and for Schiphol Airport, the Tesla Motor Club site has an enthusiastic running thread on the development from fans of the Tesla cars.
This launch is also timed with Tesla’s announcement that it has opened 25 Supercharging sites in eleven countries, eight of them in Europe. The list of participating nations may also hint at where we’ll find future Tesla Airport Taxi programs.
For Schiphol Airport, this new taxi program forms part of its ongoing environmental campaign; which includes: installing LED lighting in the terminal and car parks, conducting trials of LED lighting on the apron where aircraft are parked and using 100% recycled asphalt on the airport’s roads. Schiphol also introduced a fleet of 35 electric buses to ferry passengers on the tarmac and between terminals. The electric buses are produced by China-based automaker BYD, not Tesla. These efforts have won Schiphol an Airport Carbon Accreditation of (3+), the highest possible rating.
One of the winning Amsterdam taxi companies, operating under the service name Taxi Electric, indicates that the Tesla Model S can be booked in advance by phone and the standard meter fare is charged, though there is a minimum fee of 25 Euros. Here’s the kicker: the full fleet of Taxi Electric’s cars are equipped with free 4G Wi-Fi. As the company says: “Our taxis are ideal for business travellers, since our cars are extremely quiet which provides a relaxing environment, for instance for making phone calls or checking emails.”
Not to be outdone by its local taxi service providers, Schiphol introduced free Wi-Fi service at the airport at the beginning of September. The service is available around the clock, 365 days of the year, but there is a one-hour limit.