Energy / Climate Change

October 5, 2005


Taxi's Rooftop Wind Energy Charges Cell Phones

Keywords: Environmental Technology Non-manufacturing industry Renewable Energy 


Ecolo21 Co., Ltd, a taxi company in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan, started a trial service on April 1, 2005 to charge passengers' cell phones using the electricity generated by a wind turbine mounted on a taxi's roof. This service is to promote the use of clean energy following the enactment of the Kyoto Protocol.

The taxi's rooftop wind turbine has a built-in generator so that wind energy is converted to electricity. The electricity is stored in the car's battery and then sent to a cigarette lighter socket. By connecting a charger to the socket, passengers can charge their cell phones. The company installed this system in one of its taxis, and it is planning to install an improved version in its remaining 19 taxis by the autumn of 2005.

Founded in 2002, the company named its taxis Ecolo-Taxi, in line with its main focus on environmentally friendly business practices. For instance, the company is the first in its industry to have its entire fleet of taxis equipped with an "idle stop" feature, which temporarily shuts off the engine when idling to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Also, to encourage bicycle use, the company attached bike racks at the backs of the taxis to carry customers' bicycles.

The company also places importance on environmental education for its employees in order to facilitate conversation with passengers regarding what an individual can do to help conserve the global environment.

Posted: 2005/10/05 09:42:04 AM
Japanese version