Osaka Introduces 50-Car Electric Taxi Fleet

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

The Japanese city of Osaka has introduced a fleet of 50 electric taxis to reduce pollution problems in the city. The purchase of these 50 vehicles was made possible by a supporting grant from the Osaka regional government and has allowed operators to offer this service from in front of  Shin Umeda City and Nanba Marui from February 15th. The Shin Umeda City taxi rank serves the Umeda station in the north of Osaka, and the Nanba Marui taxi rank does the same for the Nanba train terminal in the southern area of the city.

Although the typical journey is expected to be about 5km for this city-center service, the EV taxis can obviously also travel further if required. However, the excellent public transportation system in Osaka means that it is likely that most journeys will be short jaunts from these stations to nearby offices and hotels rather than longer treks out to the airport, for example. In this sense, Japan’s cities are already well-positioned to take advantage of the strengths of electric vehicles, which out-perform their ICE counterparts in stop-start downtown driving.

Source: Mainichi Shinbun (Japanese-language)

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