Print 15 comment(s) - last by aliasfox.. on Apr 26 at 2:59 PM

Electric taxi pilot will be supported with new quick charger installations

Nissan and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a new partnership this week that will see an electric vehicle taxi pilot being conducted in New York City. Nissan and New York City plan to put six electric Leaf taxis into service starting this spring.

The goal of the program is to understand how zero emission vehicles can be integrated into the city's future taxi fleet. Nissan and partners in New York City plan to install several CHAdeMO-based DC chargers to support the charging of the electric taxis. These quick chargers will be able to charge the Leaf to 80% capacity in under 30 min.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, "Even though the Taxi of Tomorrow won't be on the road for another six months, we're already looking ahead to the taxi of the day after tomorrow. Nissan's proven track record with electric vehicles will put us ahead of the curve in helping us answer important questions about incorporating electric taxis into the fleet so that we can achieve the goal of a one-third electric taxi fleet by 2020."

The Leaf is Nissan's only completely electric vehicle. Nissan cut the base model price for the Leaf by more than $6000 bringing the purchase price to $28,800 before the $7,500 federal tax credit is applied. The driving range for the Nissan Leaf depends on terrain and driving style, typically varying between 70 and 100 miles per charge.
The Leaf taxis will join Nissan's NV200 which won NYC's "Taxi of Tomorrow" contest.

Source: Nissan

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pegging the battery?
By CaedenV on 4/24/2013 11:21:00 AM , Rating: 2
now I am no city kid, so I have absolutely no concept as to the daily driving range in a city setting. I do know that out where I live a taxi could easily do 400+mi per day, which would be 5-6 of these half hour quick charges every day. I am assuming in a dense city setting where trafic is a major issue that 400mi per day would be nearly impossible, but even still I would imagine going through even 2-4 of these quick charges would have some repercussions.
Perhaps battery charging tech has changed, but I remember several laptop and cell phone batteries I have killed over the years from quick charging them only once or twice a day.

Wouldn't the constant heavy use of the battery just kill it in a matter of a year or two? Wouldn't you want a larger battery array simply for the sake of less wear and tear?

RE: pegging the battery?
By SublimeSimplicity on 4/24/2013 11:25:15 AM , Rating: 2
A NYC taxi averages 100-120 miles a day. They spend tons of time creeping along and waiting for customers. Manhattan is only about 15 miles end to end.

RE: pegging the battery?
By Shig on 4/24/2013 11:51:26 AM , Rating: 2
^ this

Electric cars barely use any energy when in gridlock.

RE: pegging the battery?
By heffeque on 4/24/2013 2:20:22 PM , Rating: 2
Remember that winters are pretty harsh in NY and that both heating and air conditioning work with the battery. In Japan, this same "experiment" isn't going that well. Some taxi drivers actually put blankets in their taxis :-S I'm all for trying to stop environment pollution but... I'm not sure 100% battery powered cars is the answer.

RE: pegging the battery?
By SublimeSimplicity on 4/24/2013 2:29:07 PM , Rating: 2
The 2013 LEAFs use a heat pump setup instead of the traditional A/C + heating element (2011 & 2012 model years). The new heater is on par in efficiency with the A/C now.

Batteries though don't perform as well in cold weather, losing some degree of capacity in cold temps (like 10% at 0 degrees).

RE: pegging the battery?
By TacticalTrading on 4/24/2013 5:00:03 PM , Rating: 2
A heat pump for heat.
If you say it is more efficient, that's great.
But a heat pump is AC running backwards, and I know that my car gets 1 or 2 fewer miles to the gallon when the AC is running.
I bet these things will go forever on a perfect spring or fall day.

RE: pegging the battery?
By Kanon25 on 4/24/2013 5:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
Those batteries are fairly good down to about about 35-38 farenheit or so. New York is has windy humid winter weather but the cold snaps are fairly short. It feels cold in NYC because of the wind chill factor more than actual deep cold. I wouldnt think cold weather will be much of a factor. And in the spring/summer/fall no problem at all.

If you are talking Montreal or Toronto, ok that's another story.

RE: pegging the battery?
By CaedenV on 4/24/2013 2:16:23 PM , Rating: 2
OK, 1 recharge per day is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

RE: pegging the battery?
By Mint on 4/24/2013 8:16:10 PM , Rating: 2
The other thing is that even if the battery dies sooner, it's because you're putting more miles on it and saving more gas, so it's probably still worth it to replace the batteries twice as often.

Anyway, there's a reason it's a trial at this point. Potentially there can be some very tangible benefits in the air quality of that relatively small area breathed in by millions.

RE: pegging the battery?
By aliasfox on 4/26/2013 2:59:06 PM , Rating: 2
I think it could work, as long as drivers know how to use them. Something like a 30-45 min lunch and bathroom break and 30-45 mins between drivers would probably keep the batteries charged enough throughout two 8-10 hr shifts a day, every day.

Actually, taxi use would likely be the best usage scenario for modular and replaceable batteries. You have hundreds/thousands of identical vehicles that are always in the same area, so the battery packs always stay in NYC. The cars never have to drive too far, so even if a modular pack is only good for 50-100 miles, they drivers are always close to a station. Unplugging a battery pack and plugging a fresh one in would take maybe five minutes, about the same as a fuel stop, so it's no more of a hassle.

RE: pegging the battery?
By Rukkian on 4/24/2013 12:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
Battery tech has changed alot, and normally charging a little bit all the time is usually much better than a full charge. This will definately test the limits, however.

I think if they can get the car down to 28k, then doubling the battery (if there is room should only have the car up around 35k. If I could get an electric car with ~150 miles for charge at that price, it would start to be viable.

RE: pegging the battery?
By SublimeSimplicity on 4/24/2013 12:06:33 PM , Rating: 2
What they're learning more and more about lithium batteries, is that keeping them away from their charge limits drastically increases their lifespan.

If you could keep a pack between 45%-55% capacity (drive down to 45%, charge to 55%), the pack would outlive you.

This is unrealistic for most drivers, but for a taxi, with tons of charging opportunities its feasible.

RE: pegging the battery?
By BRB29 on 4/24/2013 3:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
yes, in laptops with lithium batteries, when you select the model to extend the life of your battery then it only allows you to charge the battery to 60%. It is pointless to do this in a laptop but in a car meant to last 5+ years then it makes sense.

I wish they extend the capacity for battery to make it to 250 miles. Then charging to 60% would make sense for a taxi driver.

RE: pegging the battery?
By Kanon25 on 4/24/2013 4:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
You dont live in NYC obviously. 12 blocks is a mile.

In a city you drive fairly slowly, which is the sweet spot in terms of efficiency for electric vehicles. Also the electric car uses nothing at idle.

Many years ago, I talked at length with a veteran NYC cabbie who was driving a Toyota Prius. I asked him what he thought of the vehicle and he said he would never go back to a "normal" car because he loved the quietness of the car since it mostly ran in electric mode. Also there was no more vibrations and shuddering from the petrol engine and that was better for his back he said.

Imagine the total silence in the pure electric car. I think you'll find the same. The key is to make sure they have coverage of the fast chargers.

Would also be interesting to see if they modify the Taxi Leaf to add even more battery pack since it doesnt need much luggage space.

RE: pegging the battery?
By toffty on 4/25/2013 10:52:02 AM , Rating: 2
Imagine the total silence in the pure electric car.

This. If you haven't driven in an electric car before please do. It's so nice to drive on the highway and only hear the music and not the grinding of an engine =)

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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