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When ads become the message and the medium…spotted in Springwise

03 Apr

In South Africa, free-to-use electric cycle taxis are paid for by ads

Mellowcabs is enabling South African citizens to travel for free in its advertising-funded and eco-friendly cycle cabs.

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In big cities, congested roads mean that public transport is the predominant mode of travel and if residents need to take a car, it’s usually a taxi. The Netherlands’ Hopper has already explored the possibility of eco taxi travel with its one-person electric scooters, and now Mellowcabs is enabling South African citizens to travel for free in its electric cycle cabs that are funded by advertising.

The vehicles have been designed to achieve three goals: free and effective public transport, provide much sought-after advertising hoardings for marketers, and also cut carbon emissions. Each taxi holds up to two passengers and a driver, and customers don’t have to pay to use them. Mellowcabs travel around 120 km a day and have high visibility, including bright white and yellow coverings, meaning they’re both easy for customers to spot and provide a visual platform for advertisers. Each cab also has an on-board tablet providing further advertising opportunities, as well as entertainment for passengers. Since the taxis use electric pedaling, they’re already one of the most eco-friendly vehicles on the road, but they also take advantage of regenerative braking, which stores energy typically lost when braking and converts it into electricity to power the cab. Enough energy is produced by the cycling that passengers can also charge their phones while they use Mellowcabs.

Could this concept be picked up in your city?

Website: www.mellowcabs.com

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