It’s the largest city in Brazil, and the world’s seventh largest city by population, but now Sao Paulo can claim another first: it’s one of the few cities in the world where you can hail a Nissan Leaf electric taxi cab. 

Part of a pilot program between Sao Paul Municipality, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, AES Electropaulo and the Association of Taxi Fleet of Sao Paulo, the city will soon put two, 2012 Nissan Leafs into service as taxis on pre-defined routes in the city. 

Later on this year, they will be joined by another eight Leafs, which it is hoped will give taxi customers the chance to take a zero-emission taxi within the limits of the Sao Paulo beltway. 

Like other electric car taxi projects around the world, the Sao Paulo scheme will see the installation of 15 dedicated charging stations around the city designed to offer recharging. 

Provided by the local utility company AES Electropaulo, five will be capable of recharging the Leaf’s 24-kilowatt-hour battery to 80 percent full in 30 minutes, while the other ten charging stations will offer level 2, overnight charging. 

Prototype of 2012 Nissan Leaf as New York City taxi cab

Prototype of 2012 Nissan Leaf as New York City taxi cab

This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen the 2012 Nissan Leaf being used as taxis, either. Last year, Nissan won a $1 billion exclusive contract from New York City to supply its taxi fleet with Nissan vehicles from 2013. Some of those will be all-electric Leafs

Around the world too, Nissan Leafs are already used as private-hire cabs by companies in the U.K., while specially-adapted electric Nissan Rogue compact crossovers were used as taxis by Better Place to test its first battery swap station in Tokyo, Japan

With low running costs and zero-tailpipe emissions, cars like the 2012 Nissan Leaf make great taxis, but will they catch on? 

Let us know in the Comments below. 


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