The Yellow Cab taxi fleet in the city of Columbus, Ohio, is getting a boost this week with the news that it is adding 10 Tesla Model 3s to its fleet. The move comes as part of the fleet’s transition to cleaner alternatives and a desire to put the current generation of electric cars to the test as taxis — “to show the feasibility of going electric and, potentially in the next few years, do it in a way that is carbon net neutral and make it convenient and appropriately priced,” owner and CEO of Columbus Yellow Cab Megan Kauffman said.
The Yellow Cab fleet in Columbus numbers around 170 vehicles, of which 20 are already electric. Electric vehicles are well suited to use in urban applications, where the average number of miles travelled per day are relatively low, speeds are low, and idle times are high. Idling in an electric vehicle uses minimal electricity while eliminating emissions for drivers and those around the vehicle. Traveling around in city environments is more efficient in electric vehicles, thanks to their ability to regenerate power with every deceleration event.
The Tesla Model 3 eliminates the last barriers to use as a full service taxi with its long range and affordable price. If anything, with a total cost of ownership that can best even a Toyota Camry or a Honda Accord, there is little reason to buy a combustion vehicle for use as a taxi.
Okay, maybe there’s one reason not to use a Model 3 as a taxi. I, for one, would be dreading having to explain to literally every single passenger how to get into the car, only to have to explain how to get out of the car 5 minutes later. It’s the single constant in my many experiences taking people young and old for a ride in my Tesla. No, it’s not rocket science, but it’s not intuitive either.
In Columbus, the new Tesla Model 3s will be roaming around the city streets in search of passengers in the next 2 weeks.
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