It is quite common to see Mercedes-Benz taxis plying the streets of Germany. Mercedes-Benz E-Class taxi models can be found in almost every taxi stand throughout the country. In fact, three of every five taxis in Germany are Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Mercedes’ dominance in its home country isn't expected to be toppled soon, but Jaguar Land Rover of the United Kingdom is taking its chances with the new Jaguar I-Pace.
While 60 percent of all taxis in Germany being Mercedes E-Class, Jaguar is only sending 10 units of the I-Pace. Likewise, these 10 I-Pace units will only be fielded in the city of Munich, which is the home city of another German premium carmaker – BMW. The Jaguar I-Pace crossover taxis will be fielded in the city by Munich’s largest taxi operator.
In a statement, Jaguar Land Rover chief executive Ralf Speth said that the carmaker is inviting people in Munich not just to drive electric vehicles, but also drive Jaguar. He remarked that one of the reasons that Jaguar Land Rover deployed the I-Pace taxis in Munich is the mixed traffic. He remarked that in Munich, the I-Pace will be able experience both city and highway (autobahn) traffics.
The fielding of Jaguar I-Pace taxis forms part of a plan by the city of Munich to reduce area pollution. Munich is known for having one of the highest levels of pollution coming from diesel vehicles among German cities. Eyeing to ban older cars, Munich is seeing electric cars as one of the ways that air pollution could be reduced or be prevented from further accelerating.
To entice its residents to ride electric-powered taxis like the Jaguar I-Pace, the city of Munich will subsidizing every ride in the new cars. In fact, the city will be pay 20 cents per kilometer travelled.
Electric taxis, however, are nothing new. Nissan has been pitching its Leaf and e-NV200 units as sustainable zero-emission units to taxi company. Likewise, Tesla Model S taxis can be found in the streets of many cities in The Netherlands and Norway.
While electric vehicles offer lower operating costs than their gasoline or diesel counterparts, there has been a question about their range. But for the Jaguar I-Pace, its deployment as a taxi doesn’t just serve as an advertisement, but also help prove its durability, efficiency and range. Powered by a 395-hp electric drivetrain, the I-Pace gets its juice from a 90-kWh lithium-ion battery. Overall, the I-Pace can travel for a distance of nearly 300 miles. In addition, it can be recharged up to 80 percent of its capacity in just 40 minutes using a 100 kW charger.