Zero-emission Nissan LEAF electric taxis to start operating in Zurich

Article by Christian A., on January 30, 2013

The latest city where the Nissan Leaf has recently been commissioned as a taxi is in Zurich, Switzerland. The other urban centers where the Nissan Leaf has appeared as a taxi are Amsterdam, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, and New York City. Electric vehicles are suited to be used as taxi service in the urban stop-and-go environment since they’re a lot more efficient in crowded environments than the traditional internal-combustion-powered vehicles.

The Nissan Leaf came to Zurich with the aid of Swiss young adults from 20-30 who participated in the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community. Initially, there will be 10 Leaf units that will be used as taxis in Zurich. Ten more will be added later this year.

The plan is that by 2015, the city will have a network of quick-chargers that enables the drivers to charge the batteries of their electric vehicles from 30 to 80% in only 15 minutes. Nissan Europe gave its support to the Global Shapers received for this initiative.

It should be mentioned as well that the electrified versions of the Nissan NV200 van were also selected as New York City’s Taxi of Tomorrow, and will start to be seen in this city’s roads this year. It was last September when the NV200 was chosen to be the exclusive taxi for the city. The existing fleet of Ford Crown Victorias will be replaced gradually.

The front end of the new Nissan Leaf is distinguished by a sharp, upright V-shaped design. This design is highly emphasized by up-slanting headlights that employ light-emitting diode (LED) technology with a blue internal reflective design. These LED headlights are designed in a way that they could split and redirect airflow away from the door mirrors, thereby reducing both wind noise and aerodynamic drag. Likewise, since the headlights use LED units, their electricity consumption amounts to just 10 percent of the usage of conventional lamps, helping the Nissan Leaf to achieve leading range autonomy.

The interior of the Nissan Leaf is both pleasing and stylish, thanks to bright trim colors. The interior is available with the "blue earth" color theme that is shown through blue dashboard highlights and instrument illumination. This color theme is derived from the Aqua Globe body color of Leaf's introductory model.

Interestingly, the new Nissan Leaf features an exclusive advanced IT system that is connected to a 24-hour global data center. This system could offer support, information and entertainment any time of day. Another technological feature of the new Leaf is its dash-mounted monitor that could display how much power is left -- or "reachable area" – as well as where the nearest charging station is located.

In addition, the new Leaf allows drivers to use their mobile phones to turn on air-conditioning and set charging functions, even when the EV is powered down. The batteries could also be charged by pre-programming the on-board remote-controlled timer.

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