The next time you visit Barcelona you may find yourself being driven around in a very quiet taxi. Last week, Nissan started production of its all-electric version of the NV200 van in its Zona Franca factory on the outskirts of city.
The non-electric NV200 has been in use in many cities worldwide as a delivery van and was recently launched as the new London Taxi 2014. Barcelona wants to be the first city to deploy the all-electric version as a taxi and delivery vehicle.
In announcing the partnership with Nissan last year, Barcelona mayor Xavier Trias said the city was considering restricted zones for electric vehicles, preferential electric taxi queues at train stations and the airport, special taxi stops, and tax cuts for businesses with zero-emission fleets.
Nissan has invested 100 million euros ($140 million) to build the new production line in its Barcelona factory, which is the only one producing the e-NV200. The vans will be exported worldwide, including to Japan.
Barcelona has recently increased the number of electric vehicle charging points for public use to 262. These can be used free of charge by Barcelona residents who own an e-vehicle by using a special smartcard. Owners of electric cars can use the same smartcard to park for free in all the regulated parking areas across the city.
Currently 16% of the taxis in Barcelona are hybrid, as are 300 of the city's public transportation buses. The city also plans to purchase all-electric buses by 2016. Both standard and fast-recharging stations have been installed at Mercabarna, the main wholesale food market, to serve electric delivery vans. The city plans to introduce exclusive loading and unloading zones for zero-emissions delivery vehicles, along with special schedules.
The e-NV200 electric taxi/van has the same 24 kWh lithium-ion battery as the Nissan Leaf. It is capable of delivering an all-electric range of 170 km (110 mi) under the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) test. This means that the e-NV200 can work as a taxi and delivery van all day without recharging the batteries, depending on use, weather, and traffic conditions.
As the first unit rolled off the production line Xavier Trias said that the choice of electric vehicles, such as the e-NV200, "is part of a strategy in Barcelona and its metropolitan area to consolidate Barcelona as the center of a new urban economy model, based on innovation, technology and sustainability."
Re: Excellent Progress @Peter, there are some cities using electric buses. Barcelona is now trying one for regular service and Milton Keynes, in the north of London, has eight buses used in one route which has been equipped with wireless charging.
"The eight electric buses have important environmental benefits: they will remove approximately five tonnes of particulates and noxious tailpipe emissions from the city's streets each year and approximately 270 tonnes of CO2 per year from the atmosphere."
Re: Excellent Progress I did a little searching and they are manufactured. I'm sure it might be cost prohibitive at this point based on the quantities required and the fact that most school districts in the US contract this service out.
Re: Taxi @CitySolver, if you like electric cars, apparently Norway is the place to be. They have the highest concentration in the world (1 in every 100 cars), but the incentives are huge -- no tolls, free charging, free parking, free commuting in the bus lane. The government will even subsidise the installation of a charging point in your home. Hard to resist!
Re: Do taxis spur sales? I like that, Kim. I guess now it is the danger of texting that could result in the same outcome. It did reach new heights for me last week, though - I saw a gentleman on his bike texting!
Re: Excellent Progress @Peter, And its not just the Busses but the Trash Trucks as well. They are going to Natural Gas. At least in my city they are all Natural Gas powered. Makes a big difference in the Smell and noise.
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