Amsterdam-based Taxi Electric is adding the new 100-percent electric Nissan e-NV200 taxi to its zero-emission fleet, becoming the first private taxi company to do so. The combination of the Nissan LEAF EV and Taxi Electric's city transportation model has been a formula for success since the operation commenced in 2011.
The two companies have partnered again to build on the success of the operation and take the next step forward by introducing the Nissan e-NV200 taxi this summer. Taxi Electric operates a fleet of 25 Nissan LEAF EVs and was the first private taxi service to switch to a fleet of 100-percent electric taxis in November 2011.
Its Nissan LEAF fleet has now accumulated 1.5 million km in taxi operations, evidence of the EV’s high quality and reliability. Andy Palmer, EVP Nissan, remarked that he has been impressed with Taxi Electric’s progress since their launch in 2011, saying that the company was the first to prove that zero-emission taxis -- in the form of Nissan LEAFs -- are a viable alternative.
“They have covered an astonishing distance in their fleet in such a short time and have shown just how reliable our electric technology is in a demanding environment,” Palmer said.“Their pioneering spirit closely matches ours and we are certain they will continue their success with the ground-breaking Nissan e-NV200."
The city of Barcelona has also inked a memorandum of understanding with Nissan to promote the Nissan e-NV200 as a taxi for the Spanish region. Nissan will commence global production of the e-NV200 this May, with sales starting in the summer.
Ruud Zandvliet, founder of Taxi Electric added: "Two years ago we started with 10 Nissan LEAF. Each of these travelled well over 100,000 km and proved to be extremely reliable. Since last summer demand for our taxis is growing rapidly which allowed us to double our fleet. We are very excited about the e-NV200 as it is designed to be a taxi. This will improve our offering and open new business opportunities for us."
Considering the fact that over 13,000 taxi units travel 500 million of cumulative miles annually, one of Nissan’s development goals was to build a taxi that is more than just durable. But since Nissan has an extensive experience and expertise in commercial vehicles – including taxis – it is confident enough that the new Nissan NV200 Taxi would dramatically meet its requirements.
To confirm the ability of the new Nissan NV200 Taxi, Nissan will conduct validation testing of the vehicle before commencing its sales. In addition, the so-called Taxi of Tomorrow will be the first New York taxi that will be crash-tested with fitted taxi equipment, including the partition – as acknowledged by Mayor Bloomberg when the Taxi of Tomorrow program was announced in May 2011.
Interestingly, the Nissan NV200 Taxi will be a wheelchair-accessible taxi, thanks to a partnership between Nissan and the Braun Corp., which is considered as one of the leaders in automotive mobility products. Nissan plans to commence sales of the taxi in 2013, and at the time the Japanese carmaker will offer this solution to New York’s taxi medallion holders.
As part of the Taxi of Tomorrow scheme, the Japanese carmaker is currently cooperating with New York as well as taxi owners on a unique pilot program intended for studying whether zero-emission electric vehicles could also pretty serve as taxis. This pilot program entails Nissan providing Nissan LEAF EVs as well as three Level 2 charging stations – for free -- to taxi owners and New York City.