The transport sector is one of the biggest challenges in making the energy system independent of fossil fuels. A number of studies indicate that electric vehicles will constitute a significant part of the solution in the long term.
In autumn 2011 Ea Energy Analyses analysed barriers and opportunities for electric taxies and identified requirements for electric vehicles and charging technologies when used for taxi driving. This study Electric Taxies was carried out for the Danish taxi company Taxa 4×35.
Following this work, the taxi company Taxa 4×35 in cooperation with a number of taxi owners, Better Place, Clean Charge and Ea Energy Analyses received grants from the Danish Transport Authority for a test of electric cars.
As part of the project two electric vehicles with battery switch technology was purchased and tested. Originally it was planned that 4 EVs with 2 different charging technologies should be tested. Due to the bankrupt of the company Better Place in the middle of the project, the project could not be implemented in its original form, but was reduced and terminated prematurely. It was assessed that after Better Place’s bankruptcy, it was not realistic to get support from taxi owners to go ahead with testing the second technology tracks, namely the fast charging technology. Due to the prematurely termination of the project, it was only briefly examined to which extent electric vehicles combined with battery switch technology is suitable for taxis.
Despite the difficulties associated with Better Place’s bankruptcy, both taxi owners kept a positive spirit regarding electric vehicles, but were both critical regarding the unexpectedly short driving radius. The overall experience from the project was, that the driving radius need to be up to several hundred kilometers before the electric car is relevant as a taxi. The electric cars available today with high driving radius (Tesla) is assessed to be too expensive in investment and with a high uncertainty about the resale value to be considered as Taxi in normal taxi operation.
Ea Energy Analyses has helped organizing and documenting the project and has carried out statistical analysis of driving and charging patterns, interviews, calculations of CO2 savings and economic analyses to evaluate the operating experience of electric cars as taxis.