If you have been to a major metropolitan area lately it is probably pretty likely that you might have seen or even hailed a hybrid taxi. In fact, hybrids seem to make a lot of sense for cab duty considering the vast amount of urban city driving they do; though we do wonder if any benefits are reduced by the lead footed practices of most cab drivers in cities like Chicago. Hey, they get you there on-time! However, the hybrid movement may eventually give way or have to live in harmony with a vast amount of electric only powered vehicles. So the question is simple, how will electric vehicles fair as a taxi? Better Places, a company with U.S. headquarters in Palo Alto, CA, may have the answer.
Nissan electric taxi leaving Better Place battery switching station, Tokyo, April 2010
As reported by our sister site, AllCarsElectric.com, Better Places has received a grant to expand their battery quick-swap technology powered cab research project from Tokyo to San Francisco, CA. Actually, it is the entire “50 mile-long corridor from San Francisco to San Jose,” John Voelcker says on AllCarsElectric.com. The gist of the project is to test the wear and tear on a set of four taxi cabs that will use the Better Place battery quick-swap technology. The ability to change the batteries out allows for the cabs to travel beyond the expected 56-mile range. Even more impressive, the automated battery swap stations are supposed to take about 60 seconds while passengers wait in the vehicle.
Better Place battery-swap demonstration
For all the details, roll on over to AllCarsElectric.com.
[Source: AllCarsElectric.com and Better Place]