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This luxury chauffeur-hailing service combines style with sustainability

Dr. Jens Wohltorf, Blacklane CEO and Founder, talks about the future of transportation, the importance of customer service, and how his company is adapting to stay ahead of the curve.

This luxury chauffeur-hailing service combines style with sustainability
[Source photo: Pankaj Kirdatt/Fast Company Middle East]

The elite and those who are conscious about the environment do not take their transportation choice lightly.

And at the forefront of change is Blacklane. It believes getting from A to B must be a comfortable, luxurious and eco-friendly experience, helped by a team of professional, multilingual chauffeurs with high-end vehicles. After all, it’s not just the car. It’s also the staff’s training that has passengers feeling at ease. And so, Blacklane opened a chauffeur academy in Dubai and plans to replicate the model in other markets.

“Blacklane does not have a ‘like-for-like’ competitor. Ride-hailing services per se don’t compare,” says Blacklane CEO and Founder Dr. Jens Wohltorf. “Our chauffeurs undergo a rigid background check and training program.”

Wohltorf believes that delivering a premium service requires flawless execution of every aspect of the journey, from the chauffeur picking up the guests, assisting them with their luggage, inquiring about their travel needs and preferences, and prioritizing their comfort and safety. 

He says, “When selecting chauffeurs, we look for individuals with excellent driving skills and a proven track record of safe and reliable driving. They must also have excellent communication skills and be fluent in at least one additional language, as we serve a global clientele.”


Sustainability is close to Wohltorf. He says, “I often have tough conversations with my kids on how climate change will impact their lives. Being a ground transportation company’s CEO is not the ideal way to score a point with them.”

But Blacklane is committed to minimizing its carbon footprint, aiming to become a net-zero emissions company by 2040. Wohltorf believes that EVs represent the future of transportation, so transitioning to electric vehicles is a key component of its ESG program. The company aims to deliver 15% of all global rides in electric vehicles this year. 

Since its establishment in 2011, Blacklane has collaborated with certified climate protection initiatives to neutralize its carbon emissions, including adopting clean energy and fuel-efficient technologies.


Its business model is built around mobile phones and apps. With the help of their mobile app, passengers book and manage their rides, communicate with customer service, track their chauffeur in real-time, and receive updates throughout their journey. 

Technology plays a crucial role in optimizing their routes and improving efficiency. The company utilizes a dispatching system that leverages real-time traffic data and machine-learning algorithms to allocate rides to chauffeurs.

Looking ahead, Wohltorf says Blacklane aims to expand its business by entering new markets, launching new services, and prioritizing its sustainability goals.

But expanding isn’t so simple. This growth, he says, “brings new challenges with it such as understanding complex and ever-changing regulations in different markets, differentiating ourselves from new local competitors who are springing up, or keeping in touch with the needs of our guests.”

Ground transportation is challenging, but Wohltorf claims Blacklane has shown for over ten years that it’s reliable and eco-friendly while offering premium experiences.

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Karrishma Modhy is the Managing Editor at Fast Company Middle East. She enjoys all things tech and business and is fascinated with space travel. In her spare time, she's hooked to 90s retro music and enjoys video games. Previously, she was the Managing Editor at Mashable Middle East & India. More