Transportation / Mobility

December 29, 2009


Better Place and Tokyo Taxi Company to Test World's First EV Taxi with Switchable Battery

Keywords: Energy Conservation Non-manufacturing industry Transportation / Mobility 

Better Place, a California-based electric vehicle service provider announced on August 26, 2009, that it has been selected as one of the participating companies in a Japanese government project to test-run battery charging services for electric vehicles (EV) at gas stations, and that the company will start a trial operation of an EV taxi that runs on switchable batteries, the first of its kind in the world, from January 2010. The project is part of the multiple pilot projects organized by Japan's Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, one of the agencies under Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) to create a new environment and infrastructure promoting the use of EVs.

The trial operation will take place in Tokyo to study the feasibility of such EV taxi services in other densely-populated cities. As taxis usually run longer distances than other passenger vehicles, this trial is expected to provide useful data on the passenger vehicle market to promote EVs, as well as identify future challenges in expanding battery switching and charging infrastructure for EVs.

In the trial operation from early January to mid-March of 2010, Nihon Kotsu Co., a major taxi company in Tokyo, will operate EVs as regular taxis. The EV taxi station will be set up in the Roppongi Hills complex in Minato Ward, Tokyo, and a battery switching station will be built and operated by Better Place in a nearby area.

The project is expected to mark the first step in a transition that Better Place wants to accelerate, that is, moving away from gas stations that provide fossil fuels, such as liquefied petroleum gases (LPG) and gasoline, and moving toward more convenient and cleaner energy service stations.

METI Selects Eight 'EV & pHV Towns' for Promotion (Related JFS article)
Installation of EV Charging Stations Making Progress in Tokyo and Kanagawa (Related JFS article)
Better Place official website

Posted: 2009/12/29 06:00:15 AM