London private hire firm Addison Lee has bought 1,200 Volkswagen Sharans – a deal so large, it instantly means more than 1 in 5 of the firm’s taxis will now be a Sharan.
The first deliveries will begin this week; they’re all Sharan SE 2.0 TDI Bluemotion 150 models, with traffic-friendly DSG automatic gearboxes.
They’re also all painted in Addison Lee’s trademark black, joining the firm’s thousands of black Ford Galaxy people carriers.
Bosses at the firm are impressed by the Sharan’s electric sliding rear doors, which they reckon will boost safety for passengers. The full-size MPV is a seven-seater, ticking the practicality box.
As for Volkswagen UK, its head of fleet Michael O’Shea said it was “very pleased to be working with such a prominent name as Addison Lee Group”. He also stressed the significance of the “multi-million pound deal”.
Addison Lee has bought the Sharans now ahead of Transport for London’s new Ultra-Low Emission Zone, which goes live on 8 April.
Although the VW people carriers are diesels, rather than plug-in hybrids, they meet the latest Euro 6 emissions standards, so will comply with the new rules (although still be banned from Tottenham Court Road from March).
Lisa Burger, Addison Lee Group’s COO, said the deal “will make our entire fleet compliant with TfL’s low emission standards and start the process of moving towards a zero-emissions capable fleet”.