Thursday, October 28, 2010

Electric Taxis Are On The Way.

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All electric, 0% green house gas emissions taxis are on the way.  According to the Associated Press, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission approved $33 million in federal grant money Wednesday to fund green pilot projects throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.  Those projects include all-electric vehicles to be used as taxis in San Francisco and San Jose.  A company called Better Place, which provides electric vehicle charging stations, will own the vehicles.

Read the Associated Press article on SF Gate.  Also read the SF Chronicle's article.  According to this article also in Wednesday's Chronicle, the all electric Nissan Leaf will get anywhere from 62 - 138 miles of distance per charge depending on things like speed, weather, and air condition use.  Considering that as taxis, they would power the computerized dispatching system and CB radio, as well as FM radio and CD player or I-Pod, the Leaf would likely offer taxi drivers a low range of distance per charge, probably in the 60 miles category.   As a taxi driver, I'd say I drive about 150 miles per shift on average. What do you think drivers?  Are these cars going to be good as taxis?


  1. yes and in sf, they are ALL going to yellow cab. there will apparently be some that will be area - limited (neihgborhood only) cabs and apparently some thar will have replaceable batteries. Can you say "More Cabs?" can you say more Yellow Cabs?
    Didn't come to MTA, what public comment.....? email your Supervisor.
    have a good night.

  2. Correction from SFMTA: The City was not involved with discussions with Yellow leading up to the grant application that was submitted by the private company called Better Place. Therefore, it would be misleading to say that the SFMTA failed to share the information before now. Better Place approached SF and San Jose Yellow Cab companies at the time that it was preparing a grant application on its own behalf. The SFMTA submitted a much smaller grant application for the 25 Nissan leaf vehicles separately with the intention that they be single operator vehicles for neighborhood service. In August the Better Place application was combined with the SFMTA's application at MTC’s request, and that is how the SFMTA ended up being lead agency for a grant that contemplated placing all the battery-switch electric taxis in Yellow’s fleet. The details of how the Nissan "ZEN taxis" and battery-switch vehicles will be operated have to be developed over the next several weeks, but it is likely that because of budget issues, the battery-switch taxis would also be directly leased to drivers on roughly the same model as the ZEN taxis, and would not be run through any color scheme except for dispatch service. The process of developing detailed budgets will require us to refine these operating assumptions over the next several weeks, and I certainly will share that process with the TAC and the SFMTA Board. The SFMTA Board meetings where this grant is most likely to be discussed are the meetings on November 16 and December 7, and the Taxi Advisory Council meeting on November 8 and 22nd.


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