2012 Nissan Leaf Taxi in Sao PauloEnlarge Photo
A taxi company in Arlington County, Virginia, is looking to become the first firm in the U.S. to have an all-electric fleet.
The Electric Vehicle Taxicab Company aims to provide customers with a high-tech experience as they ride to their destinations.
"Now is the time to be more technologically advanced," said founder Malik Khattak to The Washington Examiner.
To that end, the proposed fleet of 40 electric cars will allow passengers to browse the web, listen to music or find local attractions, using an iPad mounted in the rear of the cab.
In addition, the tablet-based system would allow patrons to pay for their cab using credit cards.
That also ensures the cabs should meet recent rules imposed in the D.C. region requiring taxi firms to add credit card payment systems and GPS.
Meanwhile, other taxi firms in the region, including Envirocab and Arlington Blue Top Cabs, remain unconvinced that electric cars with short driving ranges are suitable for taxi use.
"We don't want our passengers to be the guinea pigs," explained Blue Top vice president John Massoud.
If the EV Taxicab Company's plans are approved by the Arlington County Board next month, it will become a real-world trial as to whether the cars are suitable.
Khattak promises that if his bid is successful, he will pay to install electric car chargers throughout the county, for both the taxis and the paying public.