Some members of city council are excited by plans for a new, environmentally-friendly taxi service in Vernon.

Current Taxi hopes to use from two to four Tesla electric cars to service customers in Vernon, if an application to the Passenger Transportation Board is approved, said general manager Jerry Pokorny in a presentation to council on Monday.

“An initial analysis found the Vernon market is underserviced,” said Pokorny. “There is one taxi for every 2,700 people living in the North Okanagan.”

Pokorny said the lack of service leads to:

  • longer wait times
  • consumer frustration
  • the potential for impaired driving

“Tesla is unlike any car currently on the road and certainly unlike any taxis,” he added, pointing to U.S. statistics showing annual emissions from the car were far lower than regular or even hybrid vehicles.

“It’s a pretty good idea in terms of emissions,” said Coun. Brian Quiring. “I’m pretty excited about that.”

Owner Dale Conway said the taxi firm was given approval last October to run a service in Kelowna.

He is asking for council to write a letter of support to the transportation board in support of a Vernon service.

The men said consumers would pay the same as what current providers are charging.

“I thought it was great,” said Mayor Akbal Mund following the presentation. “Competition is great for you as a business because you increase your standard.

“You’re in business to provide a service for a customer, you want to provide the best service you can and when there’s competition you can’t not to provide that great service.”