Nissan Leaf on Rio taxi duty; more micro-EVs in Geneva

March 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

With a New Electric Taxi Program, Rio de Janeiro Enters Zero EmiFifteen Nissan Leaf taxis are to go on duty in Rio de Janeiro this year; the first two will serve the Santos Dumont airport and others will follow elsewhere in the city. This follows an earlier trial in Sao Paulo. City authorities have set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 16% 2005-2016 and these electric taxis are part of a plan to “improve the visibility of clean-energy vehicles so that production and consumption models can be changed to a sustainable system”, says the transport department commissioner.  More here. Nissan is the ‘cars’ sponsor for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio, and is to provide 4500 vehicles for the Games and Team Brazil, a fleet which will “prioritize clean energy (ethanol or electricity)”.

  • Nice pictures of the Belumbury electric quadricycles on display in Geneva at AutoblogGreen. The Italian firm has now sold over 100 Dany microcars (including petrol versions) and is showing a concept called Lallo, a doorless beach-buggy variant.
  • And smaller yet: the German-built IMA Colibri single-seater  is scheduled for production next year. It will be positioned as an urban fleet/commuter vehicle, and priced at less than 10,000 euros plus additional battery-leasing. Quote from the company:  “Based on a current market study, IMA sees a market potential of 500,000 customers in the b2b market in Germany. Primary customers encompass carsharing providers, municipalities and delivery and mobile nursing services, for whom the Colibri is economically interesting. Private customers as well are increasingly interested in intelligent traffic concepts which allow for a mix of different modes of transportation like private cars, carsharing, public transportation or rail. Within this mix, the Colibri can cover 80% of the private mobility demand.”
  • Some further thoughts on yesterday’s “transport poverty” debate. How do motoring costs as a percentage of income compare to other travel costs (train fares in particular spring to mind)? Perhaps this is simply about the demands of living on a low income and “poverty” full stop.  And it’s amusing how many of the “I don’t need a car” commenters seem to forget that belonging to a car club, using a car-share vehicle, lift-sharing, getting other people to drive their kids to activities or taking a taxi is still using a car – the latter being even more energy-wasteful than driving yourself, as the taxi driver (probably in a superfluously large vehicle, and if a London cabbie, in a particulate-spewing old diesel as well – has to go pick you up/return without you). You may not need to own a personal car. That’s different.

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