Several cities have experimented with electric taxis, but Montreal could soon have one of the largest fleets in operation.

A company operating in the Canadian city is undertaking a plan to put 2,000 electric taxis in service by 2019.

That's the vision of Alexandre Taillefer, one of the "dragons" on the French-language version of the reality show Dragon's Den.

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A company owned by Taillefer recently purchased Montreal taxi operator Taxi Hochelaga, according to Le Journal de Montréal.

Taxi Hochelaga currently operates 500 taxis, giving it the second largest fleet in Montreal.

The company's new owner reportedly plans to invest around $200 million Canadian in electrification and other upgrades to the fleet.

2013 Nissan Leaf electric car tested as taxi in New York City, April 2013

2013 Nissan Leaf electric car tested as taxi in New York City, April 2013

Some form of electronic payment system and free Wi-Fi in cabs will be implemented as well.

Taillefer believes this--along with the green credibility provided by electric cabs--will help Taxi Hochelaga stay competitive with ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

The company did not specify which models it plans to use for taxi service, but the first cars could enter service by November.

ALSO SEE: Nissan e-NV200 Electric London Taxi Revealed, Arrives 2015 (Jan 2014)

Some operators have pressed Tesla Model S sedans into taxi service, perhaps hoping to trade on the car's popularity.

Nissan has also demonstrated taxis based on its Leaf hatchback and e-NV200 van.

Leaf taxis are already transporting passengers in a handful of cities, including London, Amsterdam, and Sao Paulo.

Taxi Electric Tesla Model S taxi in Amsterdam

Taxi Electric Tesla Model S taxi in Amsterdam

They were also demonstrated in New York City, where the internal-combustion version of the e-NV200 already operates as the soon-to-be mandatory "Taxi of Tomorrow."

The city government under Mayor Michael Bloomberg studied the matter of converting a portion of the taxi fleet to electric cars, but little has been done thus far under current mayor Bill de Blasio.

MORE: NYC Issues Roadmap For Electrifying One Third Of Taxis By 2020 (Jan 2014)

Until municipal governments make a stronger commitment to cutting the emissions of taxi fleets, electric taxis will likely continue to be operated in relatively small numbers, by private companies.

With little competition, Taxi Hochelaga's plan could leave Montreal with one of the biggest fleets of all.

[hat tip: Yvéric Patry]


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