Montreal already has one of the biggest fleets of electric taxis in operation today as a local startup, Taxelco, is consolidating the taxi industry in the city and transitioning the fleet to electric cars.
They started the Uber-like all-electric taxi service Téo Taxi with 60 cars (Teslas, Kia Soul EVs, and more) in 2016 and kept adding cars over the last 2 years – now resulting in a current fleet of 110 all-electric vehicles.
This week, the company announced another expansion that will lead to a fleet of 350 all-electric vehicles operating in Montreal, as well as an electric delivery service and even electric trucking.
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The Quebec government recently issued a decision regarding taxi and ride-sharing services that will require drivers to have 35 hours of training before being employed by those transport services.
The decision led to Uber announcing that they would discontinue their service in Quebec and on the other hand, it led to Taxelco announcing this new expansion.
Alexandre Taillefer, the entrepreneur behind the company, said (via the Montreal Gazette):
“The No. 1 complaint from our customers is that we don’t have enough cars. Well, it’s not because we didn’t want to put them on the road — it’s because the (Quebec) government wouldn’t let us.”
While the 35 hours of training is 35 more hours than Uber’s drivers currently need to take, Téo Taxi drivers were operating under taxi driver rules with 150 hours of training.
The reduced training will lower their hiring costs and enable them to expand their electric car fleet.
In order to get to 350 electric cars, they are already adding 40 cars in the next two months. We reached out to the company to know what vehicles they are adding, but they couldn’t confirm it yet.
Currently, they have Tesla Model X SUVs, Tesla Model S sedans, Nissan Leafs, and Kia Soul EVs in their fleet. They are operating so many Tesla vehicles that the automaker built them their largest privately-owned Supercharger station to charge their fleet.
Taillefer’s ambitions to electrify Montreal’s transport industry go beyond taxis. His company is also launching Téo Cargo and Téo Express next year. The former will operate a fleet of 10 electric 18-wheeler trucks to transport cargo between Montreal and Toronto, and the latter will be a local package delivery service using only all-electric vehicles.