Taxi duo turn eco friendly for new campaign

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Arshad Ali and Ansar Mahmood join Shell fuel efficiency drive

TWO eco-friendly cabbies from Birmingham are on a mission to become more fuel efficient.

Arshad Ali and Ansar Mahmood have spent more than 30 years between them driving their cabs around Birmingham.

And now they want to prove they’re the most fuel efficient cabbies in the country by joining Smarter Cab Drivers challenge – a campaign launched by Shell to encourage fuel efficiency.

The duo have gone up against black cab drivers from across the country to see who can drive the most economically.

Their efforts will be tracked in real-time on the Smarter Cab Drivers online hub – www.smartercabdrivers.com – to enable the public to see how easy it can be to make improvements in their fuel efficiency.   

Both Arshad and Ansar are targeting a 10% fuel reduction which will deliver up to £1,000 in annual savings.

Father of six, Arshad recently celebrated 20 years of loyal service as a taxi driver working for Comcabs. A well-known face on the taxi circuit, Arshad, who lives with his wife and children in Saltely, spends around eight hours on the road every day.

Clocking up 600 miles every week in his black cab, filling up the fuel tank can be a costly affair, with Arshad’s diesel bills amounting up to £800 per month.

He says: “High fuel usage comes with the territory. I’ve racked up many thousands of miles during my 20 years as a driver, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I’ll learn through the Shell Smarter Cab Drivers challenge, as I want to do all that I can to drive more efficiently and reduce my fuel bills.”

41-year-old Ansar Mahmood also knows Birmingham’s roads like the back of his hand. Having spent his life in the city, Ansar caught the driving bug ten years ago when he took a job driving buses. Ansar, who lives in Ward End with his wife and three children, spends 40 hours every week driving around busy customers to their destinations, with his fuel outgoings regularly topping £900 fuel bill per month.

Ansar said: “I’m really interested to see what I can learn during the Shell Smarter Cab Drivers challenge. Driving for a living means I have to spend a lot of money on fuel, so I’m always keen to find out new ways of being fuel efficient and reducing my costs. Not only will it help my wallet, but it’s good to know that I’ll also be helping the environment.”

Melanie Lane, General Manager for Shell UK Retail, added: “We know fuel prices are high right now so it’s important that we help people save fuel and money.

“We hope that as a result of this campaign, cab drivers will become vocal advocates for fuel efficient driving, and we wish all of our cab drivers the very best of luck in their quest to become the most fuel efficient cabbie.”

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