Spotlight on the worlds most famous fleets - Select Car Leasing
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A spotlight on the worlds most famous fleets

From New York City’s yellow taxis and London’s black cabs to the distinctive brown UPS delivery vans – all have earned a reputation built on years of sterling service.

But there are a few things you might not know about these world famous fleets, so the experts at Select Fleet Solutions have put together some fun facts to lift the lid.

Sarah Worthington, Corporate Sales Manager of Select Fleet Solutions, said: 

“We are seeing more and more companies turning to new types of vehicles in order to meet their transport needs. These are mostly hybrid and plug-in battery electric cars and vans that are not only kinder to the environment but can save a decent amount of money on running costs.
"It’s also nice to remember some of the iconic petrol and diesel vehicle fleets that have carried out a host of roles over the years, and have earned a dear place in our hearts.”

New York City yellow taxis

The NYC yellow cabs were the brainchild of Harry N Allen, who started the New York Taxicab Company in 1907 with 65 vehicles he imported from France.

They were originally painted red and green but Harry wanted them to stand out so changed the colour scheme. A year later he was running 700 taxis.

However, it’s not the only colour of cab in the Big Apple.

While the yellow cars, known as “medallion taxis” can be hailed anywhere in the five boroughs, those painted apple green – commonly called “boro taxis” – are only allowed to pick up fares in Upper Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Various classic models have been used over the decades, including the Ford Crown Victoria, Chevrolet Caprice and more recently the Toyota Camry Hybrid.

It’s also now possible to hail an all-electric Tesla Model 3 on the streets of New York.

London black cabs

Also known as “Hackney carriages”, they are a familiar sight on the streets of England’s capital and boast some much-loved mythology around the geographical awareness of their drivers.

But what is less well known is that they were well ahead of their time when it came to using electric vehicles to transport passengers.

In fact, there were a number of companies running electrically-powered Hackney carriages before the introduction of petrol motors in 1897.

The black colour became the norm following the Second World War, but these days there are all manner of shapes and patterns advertising West End shows to the latest gadgets.

Some of the classic black cab cars include the Austin FX4 and the LTI TX1, with new battery-powered models introduced by the London EV Company in 2018.

Dubai police supercars

The Dubai Police Force has not been afraid of attracting headlines since being established in 1956, and none more so than in the area of its fleet vehicles.

While the standard modes of transport for officers are a mix of regular motors such as Nissans, Mazdas and Toyotas– with the distinctive dark green and white livery – in the tourist areas their wheels are much more eye-catching.

Among the supercars monitoring the playground of the rich and famous are a Maserati GranTurismo, Aston Martin One-77 and Lamborghini Aventador.

They also boast a Bugatti Veyron, which is considered the world’s fastest police car. Definitely not one to try outrunning if you’re caught pushing the speed limit.

UPS delivery vans

United Parcel Service has used some iconic vans over the years as it has delivered packages across North America and other parts of the world.

These include the Model T Ford and Volkswagen Econoline.

But they soon started to utilise bespoke vehicles, complete with the distinct sliding driver door.

Older vehicles were based on Ford or General Motors chassis, but since the 1990s the UPS “package cars” have been based on Navistar, Freightliner or Workhorse chassis – with the bodies manufactured by American companies Morgan Olson, Union City Body and Utilimaster.

Post Office vans

Postman Pat and his little red van is the classic image of British postal workers around the globe, but the Morris Minor that navigated the lanes of Greendale was not the only vehicle used by the British institution.

To get the mail through in all weathers there have been Fiat Doblos, Ford Transits, Peugeot Boxers and even classic British-made Commer vans.

Now they’ve embraced batteries, with an order of 3,000 new plug-in delivery trucks placed last year and charging points installed at delivery offices to address the soon-to-be-introduced clean air zones.

They will mainly be Peugeot e-Experts, Mercedes e-Vitos and e-Sprinters and will take the Post Office’s fleet of EVs to around 3,300.

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David Hughes

Friday, 17/05/2024