Nissan Leaf EV reports for taxi duty

Electric vehicles could be naturals for city taxi duty with their quick acceleration and zero emissions. Nissan has provided New York City with six Leaf EVs for evaluation to join the city's taxi fleet. Nissan's NV200 commercial van was chosen as the Taxi of Tomorrow recently and a recent court case overturned the exclusive contract due to the lack of access to hybrid and electric vehicles. While some might see that an EV taxi could have range issues, electric vehicles are very suited to urban environments and Nissan's new quick chargers can charge the lithium-ion batteries to 80 percent within 30 minutes (regular taxis need gas fill ups, right?). Leaf taxis have been in use in Europe for a while and have meet the needs of both drivers and users. Another added benefit to an EV taxi is the lower service costs, since EVs don't need oil changes, etc. The European Leaf taxis have held up well to heavy-duty taxi use and some customers prefer the silent EV taxis. Maybe Nissan could put a version of the Leaf's powerplant into the NV200 and make everybody happy. More to come...

Source: Nissan, NewsPress - Press releases and video after the jump.

Press Release:
Nissan, New York City Launch LEAF Electric Vehicle Taxi Pilot

To celebrate Earth Day, Nissan and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg today launched a new electric vehicle taxi pilot with the world's best-selling electric car, Nissan LEAF. This pilot program, which puts six LEAF taxis into service beginning this spring, will help Nissan, the city, the taxi industry and the public understand how zero emission vehicles can be integrated into future taxi fleets.

Joe Castelli, vice president, Nissan Commercial Vehicles said: "As part of our commitment to zero emission vehicles for the mass-market, Nissan is looking for ways to broaden the use of electric cars, including commercial applications like taxis. Following the selection of Nissan NV200 as New York City's Taxi of Tomorrow, our relationship with the city provides us the ultimate proving ground to conduct this LEAF taxi pilot to help optimize the use of electric vehicle technology for future applications."

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."

As part of the pilot, Nissan and partners in New York City will also install several CHAdeMO-based DC quick chargers, which will enable drivers to re-charge their electric taxis quickly during their shift. With quick charging, Nissan LEAF can be recharged to about 80 percent in under 30 minutes.

About the 2013 Nissan LEAF
Now in its third model year, Nissan LEAF is the world's best-selling pure electric vehicle with nearly 60,000 cumulative sales worldwide. For 2013, LEAF features numerous customer-focused upgrades and is now being assembled at Nissan's plant in Smryna, Tenn. LEAF is powered by a responsive 80kW AC synchronous motor produced at Nissan's Powertrain Assembly plant in Decherd, Tenn., with energy supplied by an advanced 48-module lithium-ion battery assembled at Nissan's new battery plant in Smyrna. 

About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011 and 2012 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at and or visit the Americas media sites and

About Nissan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.9 million vehicles in 2012, generating revenue of 9.4 trillion yen ($US 118.95 billion) in fiscal 2011. With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of 64 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero-emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades, including the prestigious 2011-2012 Car of the Year Japan and 2011 World Car of the Year awards. For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at

REPORT: Nissan, New York City Launch LEAF Electric Vehicle Taxi Pilot

New York (Apr. 22, 2013) - To celebrate Earth Day, Nissan and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg today launched a new electric vehicle taxi pilot with the world's best-selling electric car, Nissan LEAF. This pilot program, which puts six LEAF taxis into service beginning this spring, will help Nissan, the city, the taxi industry and the public understand how zero emission vehicles can be integrated into future taxi fleets.

Press Release:

World's best-selling electric vehicle cleans up the taxi business
  • Zero-emission Nissan LEAF arrives in taxi ranks across Europe
  • Fleets and owner-drivers benefit from lower running costs and reduce city pollution
Cities across Europe are going through a quiet revolution as taxi companies start to shift from conventional diesel-powered cabs to zero-emission - and near-silent - Nissan LEAF taxis.

The world's best-selling electric vehicle (EV) is fast becoming the taxi drivers' favourite too; attracted by lower running costs and fuelled by a desire to reduce airborne pollution in city centres.

Two years after the ground-breaking EV went on sale in Europe, Nissan LEAF taxis are now operating in Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Portugal, Spain and the UK. And more are on the way!

One of the strongest advocates of the Nissan LEAF as a taxi is Amsterdam-based Taxi-E company. With a fleet of 13 Nissan LEAF's, the firms' drivers have covered over 700,000 kms - that's further than the distance of the earth to the moon.

The cars are quick-charged two or three times a day using 100 per cent green energy, meaning they're always ready for passengers.

One of the entrepreneurs behind Taxi-E, Ruud Zandvliet, said: "Amsterdam has some 3,000 taxis, so while our fleet is helping to reduce emissions, there is obviously room to reduce these even further."

Switzerland's largest city, Zurich, will soon have a fleet of pure electric Nissan LEAF taxis moving people around the city. Later this year, ten Nissan LEAFs will hit the road supported by a network of city-wide fast chargers as part of Zurich city's plans to make 15 per cent of its taxi fleet electric by 2015. Capable of replenishing a battery to 80% in just 30 minutes, with many customers arriving with partially full batteries, the average stay is just 15 minutes.

The Nissan LEAF is also a hit with European taxi owner-drivers where running costs, fuel bills and maintenance down time are critical to their success. These road warriors are fast-becoming EV advocates showing colleagues the benefits of making the switch from diesel to electric.

In the UK, Phoenix Taxis runs a Nissan LEAF as part of its fleet and has installed three EV charging points at its headquarters in Blyth, Northumberland. Managing Director Alexander Hurst said: "The main cost to any taxi driver is fuel. With prices rocketing on a monthly basis, EVs are becoming the more sensible fleet vehicle cost."

"LEAF is incredibly luxurious and taxi drivers - notoriously unhappy with change - love the way LEAF drives. The gadgets available via the steering wheel also help make drivers' lives easier. With real-time savings of £5,000 (€5,900) a year in fuel, we're expanding our fleet and will have 15 LEAFs on the road by summer 2014."

In Portugal, the first country to sell Nissan LEAF in Europe, Lisbon-based owner-driver José Ferreira replaced his diesel-powered taxi with a Nissan LEAF. He has driven more than 15,000 kms so far, covering 80-100 kms a day, and reveals that 70 per cent of his customers liked the experience so much they would actively choose to ride in an electric taxi.

Fuel and running costs are the biggest factors for taxi owner-drivers, meaning every Euro counts. Owner-driver Roberto San José from Valladolid, Spain has spent just €1,800 on electricity to power his Nissan LEAF for more than 77,000 kilometres. Fuel for a diesel-powered car would have cost more than €10,000, saving Roberto over €8,200.

Taxi bosses at Prima Clima are making their mark on the taxi business in Hamburg, Germany, with a fleet of four LEAFs. Liveried in the world-famous, pale-yellow body colour of all German taxis - with contrasting doors displaying blue skies and clouds - this fleet is backed by the city's Council and supported by 50 EV charging points and two quick chargers.

Globally, Nissan LEAF-based taxis are helping to cut pollution on the streets of New York, Rio de Janeiro and many cities in Japan.

Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Director Electric Vehicles Europe, said: "There is little doubt that the Nissan LEAF is an ideal vehicle for taxi operators. It's cheap to run and easy to maintain. It's good to drive and passengers like the space and comfort.

"From a driver's point of view, LEAF's brisk acceleration allows it to easily keep with the traffic flow and the growth in quick-charging networks provides easier access to rapid ‘refuelling'. With zero-emissions and whisper-quiet running, just one Nissan LEAF can make a difference to life in the city."