World's first taxis with easily swapped batteries hit Tokyo

April 26, 2010
One of the fleet of the world's first switchable-battery electric taxis rolls through a battery switching station in Tokyo. The world's first switchable-battery electric taxis hit the streets of the Japanese capital in a government-funded pilot project to test the emission-free cars.

The world's first taxis with easily replaceable batteries hit the streets of the Japanese capital Monday in a government-funded experiment.

The purpose-built cars that can run on easily swapped batteries -- rather than wait to be recharged or switch to other fuels -- were launched in Tokyo by Japan's energy agency.

Three cars based on the Nissan Dualis will operate as normal taxis on the city's streets during the 90-day experiment, a joint project with Better Place, a US firm specialising in providing electric vehicle infrastructure.

"Tokyo can become the capital of ," said Kiyotaka Fujii, president of the Japanese unit of Better Place.

Ordinary Tokyo taxis can clock up as many as 300 kilometres (186 miles) a day, the company says, and the city is by far the world's largest market with 60,000 cabs -- more than New York, Paris and London combined.

While taxis represent only two percent of all passenger vehicles in Tokyo, they emit about 20 percent of all (CO2) from vehicles.

"By building a good business model, we believe this technology can have a significant impact on the economy and society," Japanese energy agency official Minoru Nakamura told a press conference.

Explore further: Tokyo taxis to trial battery switch system

Related Stories

Tokyo taxis to trial battery switch system

August 26, 2009

Tokyo taxis will be the first in the world to test new electric-car batteries that can be replaced in less time than it takes to fill up the petrol tank, the firm behind the system said Wednesday.

Electric cars take on hybrids at Tokyo show

October 21, 2009

Futuristic concept cars, plug-in hybrids, zero-emission electric vehicles and even a hydrogen-powered scooter jostled for the limelight as the Tokyo Motor Show kicked off on Wednesday.

Japanese car makers out to electrify Tokyo show

October 19, 2009

Move over hybrids -- the biggest buzz at this year's Tokyo Motor Show looks set to come from electric cars as the dream of affordable zero-emission vehicles moves closer to reality.

Japanese firm plans zero-emission ferry

October 15, 2009

A Japanese shipmaker said Thursday it planned to launch the world's first large electric ferry -- the latest innovation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recommended for you

Smartphones are revolutionizing medicine

February 18, 2017

Smartphones are revolutionizing the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, thanks to add-ons and apps that make their ubiquitous small screens into medical devices, researchers say.

Six-legged robots faster than nature-inspired gait

February 17, 2017

When vertebrates run, their legs exhibit minimal contact with the ground. But insects are different. These six-legged creatures run fastest using a three-legged, or "tripod" gait where they have three legs on the ground at ...

'Scorpion' robot mission inside Fukushima reactor aborted

February 16, 2017

A "scorpion" robot sent into a Japanese nuclear reactor to learn about the damage suffered in a tsunami-induced meltdown had its mission aborted after the probe ran into trouble, Tokyo Electric Power company said Thursday.


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Apr 26, 2010
Success depends on the batteries' longevity, what with their daily recharging, probably twice a day for most of them. Do the companies own the batteries, or do the taxi-cab owners own the batteries? Most taxis I know of are privately owned and brokered, the plates privately owned and/or leased, etc. I know some taxi companies that are only a dispatch service, and they own no vehicles at all.
1 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2010
I'd be very surprised if these batteries last more than 3 years.
5 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2010
If you want more info about the project of better place http://www.youtub...Jt2KLC9k
not rated yet Apr 27, 2010
I'd be very surprised if these batteries last more than 3 years.

I feel certain that these batteries will not work, nor can experimenting improve the technology.
Endless idiotic comments. Trains can't go faster that 60mph. Planes cannot fly faster than the speed of sound. Marching morons edit reality.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.