Cars EV Taxi Share Station 1

Published on April 14th, 2012 | by Charis Michelsen


Japan’s First Electric Taxi Project Kicks Off

April 14th, 2012 by  

EV Taxi Share Station 1

Japan is getting its first fleet of electric taxis, as Nissan starts an experimental project to solve some of the problems that other EV taxi proponents have faced. The project will run from April 18th to July 20th, after which Nissan will either have a working fleet of zero-emissions taxis or decide that the Leaf is better for private use only.

The project is called the EV Taxi Share Station, and both branches of it are sponsored by Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. One branch is in Kanagawa (that would be Kanagawa Prefecture, part of the greater Tokyo Area), where it’s sponsored by the Kanagawa Prefecture Taxi Association in addition to Nissan. This branch, titled the Kanagawa EV Taxi Project, will be aimed at people in rural as well as more urban areas. The other branch is in Yokohama City (the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture). Named the Yokohama Mobility Project Zero, it will be focusing on a very urban environment.

Alternative Taxi

The advantages of electric cars as taxis are immediately obvious — super low fuel cost is the first, while less noise, vibration, and a low center of gravity make a comfortable ride an easy second. Low maintenance cost is another point for electric taxis.

The disadvantages, of course, are the same as for an individual owning an electric car — the range of the car and how long it takes to charge can be prohibitive, especially when the business depends on running the car all over town and beyond. Nissan’s solution is the EV Taxi Share Station.

No, Really, Alternative

The EV Taxi Share station is exactly what it sounds like. Nissan plans to install an extra spot for electric taxis to wait and recharge their batteries next to currently existing taxi stands. Standard gas-driven taxis and electric taxis will alternate in taking fares (hence the word “share”) so that the company benefits from the low cost of running EVs (when available) and isn’t hurt by potential downtime while the cars recharge.

Nissan hopes that the alternating taxi solution will help promote the normalcy of electric cars into areas where there might not be many. The use of existing taxi stands will hopefully cut down on installation costs and also help electric cars spread out past the city.

Let us know how you think their three-month experiment will turn out in the comments, below!

Source | Images: Nissan

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About the Author

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.

  • Ruud 

    In Amsterdam electric taxi are allready part of every day live!

  • electric38

    Seems like Japan was testing a taxi about 2 years ago that incorporated a quick change battery (less than a minute). What happened to that one? Surely setting up a hundred batteries or so to charge under a solar PV canopy would mean that you always have one available.

    There are also several inductive type chargers. Why wouldn’t they place them under the taxi stands?

    Once the solar, charger and car are paid for, the rest is pure profit, as long as the sun is shining.

  • Hope

    I approached venture capitalists early last year about a similar thing. Despite the impression of roaming taxi drivers, most do under 150 miles a night, and have a point or points they return to.

    Provided there’s a charge point at a base or rank as with this scheme, I don’t see why it isn’t perfectly feasible. The only potential pitfall is the constant part-charging of the battery, which to the best of my knowledge lessens battery life.

    • Bob_Wallace

      *I don’t think the partial-charge issue holds for all batteries.*
      *BYD has been running a fleet of 160 mile range EV taxis more than a year so far. They use an iron-phosphate battery that can be fully recharged in 30 minutes.*
      *Some have passed 100,000 miles with no apparent decrease in battery capacity.*
      “The most significant results of BYD’s
      announcement included 1.7 million miles of all-electric travel and $360,000 in fuel savings. BYD Auto also noted that e6 and F3DM fleet vehicles have not experienced reductions in battery range over time.”
      * *

      That’s a savings of $7,200 per car.

      *On Sat, Apr 14, 2012 at 9:47 AM, Disqus <

      • Hope

        Well its nice to know it is feasible. Unfortunately their eco credentials didn’t extend as far as their wallets.

        • Bob_Wallace

          ” Unfortunately their eco credentials didn’t extend as far as their wallets. ”

          I don’t get your meaning…

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