EnviroCAB Hopes To Start Operations In Arlington

Sharon McLoone over at our Small Business Blog writes about EnviroCAB, a taxi service that claims it would be the first in the nation to go "carbon negative" by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide its fleet emits over the course of a year.

The firm plans to work with a Maryland nonprofit that would calculate enviroCAB's hybrid vehicle emissions and determine how much it would have to pay to offset or decrease that pollution. That money would then be directed to clean energy utility companies that Carbonfund.org of Silver Spring selects.

"You pay money to them because it's more expensive for them to generate clean energy," enviroCAB co-founder Hans Hess told McLoone. "The electricity that they create goes onto the public utilities grid and local utilities are obligated by law to purchase that clean-source energy, and so it reduces the amount of pollutants into the air."

The company is waiting to get the necessary permits from Arlington County. The firm initially asked the county for certificates to build a 100-car fleet, but on July 2 the county's transportation commission recommended that the firm receive only 35 licenses to operate their Toyota Prius and Ford Escape cabs. Next week, the county manager is scheduled to make a recommendation to Arlington's board on whether or not enviroCAB should begin operations. The board could vote on the matter in September.

EnviroCAB is not alone in using hybrids. Red Top Cab, which has served Arlington since the 1960s, recently added five hybrid Ford Escapes.

By Dan Beyers  |  August 9, 2007; 2:43 PM ET
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