23 September 2021
By Elaine Murphy
New Eco booking option allows passengers in Cork to book hybrid or electric taxi on FREE NOW app at no extra cost
FREE NOW is a mobility as a service provider headquartered in Hamburg, Germany. It was formed in February 2019 from a joint venture between BMW and Daimler Mobility. It is accessed by most via an app, and used to book a taxi. The brand has announced the expansion of its Eco booking service in Cork. Passengers in Cork can choose more sustainable transport options by selecting a hybrid or electric taxi on the app at no extra cost. The announcement forms part of FREE NOW’s sustainability strategy – Move to Net-Zero programme – which includes immediate offsetting and long-term Net-Zero efforts with the goal of achieving 50% fully electric vehicle rides by 2025 and 100% zero emissions by 2030.
The national expansion of the new Eco booking service into major cities across Ireland including Cork, Galway and Limerick coincides with European Mobility Week 2021 which takes place from the 16th-22nd September to support sustainable transport across Ireland. Following the initial launch of its Eco booking option in Dublin last year, FREE NOW has experienced a huge demand from the public for environmentally friendly transport choices with eco trips in Dublin soaring by 146% between September 2020 and July 2021.
According to new research conducted by FREE NOW, 87% of passengers are worried about climate change and 60% would like to have sustainable transport as a default booking option on the app. Furthermore, 58% believe that there are too many private cars on the road, and 17% stress that private vehicle dependency is one of the main transport difficulties in their area. The vast majority (97%) also think that businesses should make it easier for consumers to adopt greener habits through their services.
Niall Carson, General Manager at FREE NOW Ireland:
“We are delighted to announce the launch of Eco bookings for drivers and passengers across Cork. Supporting the national effort to develop a more sustainable transport system across Ireland is a crucial part of our sustainability strategy, and the expansion of our electric offering is a key milestone in reaching our target of a 50% EV fleet by 2025, and 100% net zero emissions by 2030.
The demand from our passengers for more environmentally friendly transport is extremely positive with 84% saying they would choose a sustainable booking option if it was available, so we are delighted to make this a reality at no extra charge for people as we continue to expand our electric offering.
It is crucial that our drivers are also enabled to make the switch to an EV vehicle in order to support our national expansion. We have developed a dedicated EV expert team which provides our drivers with ongoing advice, webinars and support throughout their switch. We have also invested 6 million euro this year to help taxi drivers across the country purchase home chargers for EVs – making charging easier and encouraging more drivers to go electric.
A smart and sustainable transport infrastructure will play a vital role in our journey to reach the government’s target of carbon neutrality by 2050, and we hope to build on today’s Eco booking launch in Cork in the coming months with continued expansion nationwide.”