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Published on November 2nd, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

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100% Electric Taxi Company Coming

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November 2nd, 2012 by Zachary Shahan
 
 
Electric vehicles may not be all over the place yet, but a new taxi company in the DC area is looking to help change that.

Chris DeMorro of Gas2 writes: “a new millennium calls for new answers to transportation, and a Virginia taxi company wants to be on the cutting edge. The Electric Vehicle Taxicab Company hopes to provide customers with a modern transit experience via a fleet of electric cars equipped with Apple iPad tablets.”

The innovative taxi company is the Electric Vehicle Taxicab company. Its home base will be Arlington County, Virginia (just outside Washington, D.C.).

For more on this story, check out: All Electric Taxi Company Ready For Prime Time?

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • Mitch Michaelson

    Coal powered electric taxi’s. Is this a good thing?

    • Bob_Wallace

      The US grid is shedding coal. Coal used to provide over 50% of our electricity. During the first half of 2012 coal was down to 36%. Several dozen more coal plants will be closing in the next few years as EPA requirements cause them to be shuttered.

      Renewables are starting to become an appreciable part of our electricity generation.

      There are no coal powered electric taxis. And that is a good thing.

    • pfletch

      Mitch, one upside is point-source of pollution(factory) is preferable to non-point source(many cars emitting pollution all over). Anyone else have a take on this?

      • Bob_Wallace

        CO2 emissions are roughly the same for petroleum powered vehicles and electric vehicles charged by 100% coal-generated electricity. Perhaps a bit higher for EVs, I’ve seen two studies stating that and one saying EVs produce slightly less.

        Assuming the choice was only 100% petroleum or EVs run on 100% coal-electricity there would be some advantage to using EVs because the coal plants could be located away from population centers, thus allowing for cleaner air in our more densely populated areas. It’s also more likely that the coal plants could be monitored more closely and kept “cleaner”.
        But all that is fairly irrelevant. We’re close to the point at which coal is producing only 1/3rd of our electricity. Another roughly 1/3rd is from natural gas which produces half the CO2 of coal. So EVs are vastly superior to ICEVs in terms of CO2 emissions. And they will get better and better as we close more coal plants and install more wind and solar.

        • RobS

          The discrepancy in different studies is because of the wide variance in coal plant emissions. For example, my birth state of Victoria Australia is home to the OECD’s most carbon intensive power station, Hazelwood, which produces 1.58 tonnes CO2/Mwh, whilst modern coal plants produce 0.9 tonnes CO2/Mwh without any carbon capture and storage. Unfortunately this means that EV’s in Melbourne are substantially more polluting then ICEV’s. Vehicles in areas with modern coal plants however are cleaner then ICE vehicles. EV’s in my current home state of Tasmania are emission free as we produce 90% of our power from hydroelectricity and 10% from wind.

    • RobS

      Even fully coal powered vehicles are better then ICE vehicles, a centralised large thermal coal plant is much more energy efficient then millions of small combustion engines. Electric motors are incredibly efficient in their use of electricity. The emissions from a single coal plant are much easier to regulate and capture then millions of individual engines and if nothing else the emissions are produced away from population centers meaning that the health effects of such emissions are moved away from the population also. Even if the pollution was the same just think about a city like New York with absolutely no vehicle emissions released within the city whatsoever.

      However the reality as Bob has pointed out is that coal is being rapidly phased out, the generation of electricity from coal in the first 8 months of 2012 is almost 17% lower then in the first 8 months of 2011, coal now represents only 36% of total generation. Over 6 gigawatts of coal plants have been retired already in 2012 and many more are planned, there have been a few new coal plants however in many cases there emissions are up to 50% lower then the 40 year old coal plants they are replacing. If you look at individual states the coal phaseout is even more rapid, revealing that the overall fall is being tempered by a few holdouts. Not surprisingly many of the places with the most rapid reductions in coal are also the places EV’s are being sold in greater numbers. New york for example has seen a 61% drop, California is already at reasonably negligible levels of coal generation but what remains has seen a further 20% fall.

      The coal powered EV meme is a common one, a lesser used but even more factually incorrect one is that some people still believe that significant amounts of oil and petroleum products are used for the generation of electricity. Combined these products represent 0.5% of the total electricity generated in the US. This is about 25 times less the the power generated by renewables. Even those low numbers have seen a greater then 25% fall in 2012.

      The vast majority of the replacement of coal has been natural gas and renewables. Solar in 2012 has seen generation for the first 8 months of the year rise 131% and wind 17%.

      So in summary are electric taxis, powered by dwindling levels of coal and increasing amounts of natural gas and renewables with no tailpipe emission whatsoever in the urban environment a good thing? I would say so.

  • Greg

    The title is a little scary. Perhaps you should add an “i” to the end of the word “tax”.

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Thanks. :D Someone tweeted me and I changed it. :P

    • pfletch

      ditto. I had to do a double-take.

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