A pilot program is being conducted by Nissan in New York City that will help Nissan to test and learn more about its Leaf electric car. It is a program under which six Nissan Leaf vehicles will be used as taxis. Nissan will provide some fast chargers to aid this project, and it will help people become accustomed to the use of electric vehicles as taxis. But will New York cab drivers adopt as well?
This is at least the second public taxi test of the Nissan Leaf. On one hand cities are the perfect place for electric vehicles, with their low range and long recharge times, to operate. But the average New York Taxi operator drives 180 miles per 12 hour shift, about 2.5 times the advertised range of the Nissan Leaf, which can go about 73 miles per charge. While some drivers have easily exceeded 100 miles in low-speed driving, the Leaf lacks the battery capacity to go even one full shift on a single charge. That hasn’t stopped a Virginia company from trying to build an all-electric fleet anyways.
However, Nissan is also installing fast charging stations can technically be installed anywhere, even on sidewalks. The fast chargers could top off the Nissan Leaf battery pack in as little as 30 minutes, and would cost a lot less than topping off a Crown Victoria’s gas tank. Nissan also won the contract to provide all of New York’s cabs going forward, using the NV van as the base vehicle.
Everything has to be tried and tested in the first place. Proof of concept is required to get skittish (understandably) people to warm up to the concept of vehicle electrification. Maybe the Nissan Leaf taxi cab will prove so popular, other taxi companies will willingly adopt it.
Source: Autoblog Green
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