September 21, 2016

Electric Taxis are Changing the Taxi Industry

Have you ever been to Midtown Manhattan?  If you have ever been there, there’s a couple of things to you’ve probably noticed.  First the traffic is a nightmare and second 8 out of every 10 cars on the road is yellow.  That’s right 8 out of every 10 cars is a taxi and almost every last one of them is spewing exhaust into the atmosphere.  New York is only one of dozens of major cities all around the world with thousands of cabs contributing to climate change.

Fortunately this is starting to change, there are now dozens of companies like that are making the switch to an all electric taxi fleet.  Cars like the Nissan LEAF and the e-NV200 Combi (EVs) or electric vehicles have made their way into taxi fleets all around the globe.  Just looking at the UK as an example, there have been over 3 million taxi miles driven on British roads in totally electric vehicles.  Here is the story of London taxis going electric.

The Savings

While that sounds great what exactly does in mean in practical terms?  First of all the taxi companies are benefitting hugely from the savings in fuel costs to the tune of $400,000 in savings.  This savings is in both fuel and maintenance costs.  The other benefit is that riders and pedestrians alike can share in cleaner air and comfortable rides.  More than 800 tonnes of carbon have been eliminated from the environment.  Win-win…right. And thats what greenr Malta airport taxi service have been doing for the past 2 and a half years.

The Drawbacks

So what is stopping more taxis firms from switching to electrical vehicles?  The upfront cost of switching an entire fleet all at once, but that really can’t be justified.  You don’t have to upgrade an entire fleet at once and you see a return immediately with the savings in fuel cost every day.  The other problem is a lack of charging stations, and in smaller communities this may be a real concern and beyond the control of the taxi firm.  Other firms don’t see the urgency with the cost of fuel being lower than it has been in the past decade.


Happy #EarthDay! Today I took NYC’s first-ever electric taxi. One-third of our taxis will be electric by 2020.

A photo posted by Mike Bloomberg (@mikebloomberg) on

The last issue most taxi firms have is the range the cars get and the charging time, no taxi firm wants cars off the road for half an hour during peak hours.  This is more of a logistical issue that they can work around with some effort.  The EVs take half an hour to charge to 80% and the most common EV taxi, the LEAF gets only 84 miles per charge.  The Tesla Model S will get 315 miles, but the price of a Model S is almost 2 times that of the LEAF at $72, 000 for the base model.

Electric taxis are going to be the wave of the future so taxi firms can either embrace the change or they won’t find themselves in business for much longer.